Giancarlo Esposito is staying at AMC for his next series role.
The Better Call Saul veteran will star in and executive produce a drama called The Driver for AMC and its AMC+ streaming service. It will be the third series for Esposito at the cable outlet, following Saul — whose final season begins in April — and Breaking Bad.
“I am over the moon excited, enthused and inspired to be in collaboration with the stellar network and creative team of AMC,” said Esposito in a statement. “Thanks for believing in me. It’s great to be back home!”
Created by Sunu Gonera and Danny Brocklehurst (and based on a 2014 BBC miniseries from Brocklehurst and Jim Poyser), The Driver follows a cabbie (Esposito) whose life is turned upside down when he agrees to chauffeur a New Orleans-based Zimbabwean gangster notorious for exploiting undocumented immigrants at ports in the southern United States. The six-episode first season, produced by AMC Studios in association with A+E Studios and Thruline Entertainment, is set to premiere in 2023.
Esposito was a fan of the BBC series, which starred David Morrissey as the title character, and Gonera got involved through their shared management firm, Thruline Entertainment.
“It’s surreal to be at this point,” said Gonera. “This whole journey started as a simple conversation four years ago in my manager Josh Kesselman’s living room when he said, ‘Giancarlo is keen to play an everyman as his next role. There’s a British show he loves called The Driver. Would you watch the pilot and see if you could come up with a take you both could get excited about?’ Um, would I? You had me at Giancarlo and everyman.”
Said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, “Giancarlo is a singular talent who is already beloved by AMC viewers through his standout performances in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. We are excited to be continuing his relationship with AMC and AMC+ in a series built around him and an unforgettable character who takes what he thinks is a straightforward job opportunity and finds himself confronted with a world that tests him in ways he could never have imagined.”
Theo Travers (Billions, Power) will serve as showrunner for The Driver. Gonera (Snowfall, Raised by Wolves) will direct the first episode.
“It is a pleasure and a privilege to be working with AMC on this bold reimagining of my U.K. miniseries,” said Brocklehurst. “Sunu Gonera and Theo Travers have both brought superb original voices to the premise and I am thrilled to be going on this ride with them.”
Added Travers, “I couldn’t be more excited to help bring this show to life. I’ve been a fan of Giancarlo’s work since Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing. It’s a true honor to have the chance to collaborate with him in this way. The Driver is a high-voltage, dark identity quest for an everyman trying to find renewed purpose in his life.”
Esposito, Gonera, Brocklehurst and Travers will executive produce the series along with Thruline’s Kesselman and Danny Sherman, alongside A+E Studios head Barry Jossen and executive vp creative affairs Tana Jamieson.
The Driver is the latest project for the ever-busy Esposito, who in addition to Better Call Saul recurs on Amazon’s The Boys and Disney+’s The Mandalorian. He’s also attached to Netflix’s forthcoming series Jigsaw and stars opposite Forest Whitaker in Godfather of Harlem on Epix. He is repped by ICM Partners, Thruline Entertainment, Jackoway Austen and Imprint.
Travers is repped by Echo Lake Management and attorney J.R. McGinnis at Felker Toczek.
AMC and AMC+ have been solidifying their future rosters of late. In addition to The Driver, the network and streamer have made three other series pickups recently: Isle of the Dead — a fifth Walking Dead spinoff starring Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan — and dramas Demascus and Invitation to a Bonfire.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter