AMC Networks has greenlit a series remake, The Driver, which will be led by Giancarlo Esposito and is set to premiere next year, 2023. Sunu Gonera (Class of 09) and Danny Brocklehurst (The Stranger) created the series based on a U.K. format created by Brocklehurst and Jim Poyser. Gonera and Brocklehurst reimagined the U.K. format into a one-hour drama series about a taxi driver (Esposito) whose life is turned upside down when he agrees to chauffer a New Orleans-based Zimbabwean gangster notorious for exploiting undocumented immigrants at the U.S. southern ports. Theo Travers (Billions) will serve as showrunner and Gonera will direct the pilot.
"Giancarlo is a singular talent who is already beloved by AMC viewers through his standout performances in 'Breaking Bad' and 'Better Call Saul'," said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. "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." Esposito added, "I am over the moon excited, enthused, and inspired to be in collaboration with the stellar network and creative team of AMC! Thanks for believing in me. It's great to be back home!" Brocklehurst said: "It is a pleasure and a privilege to be working with AMC on this bold reimagining of my U.K. mini-series. 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."
Gonera continued, "It's surreal to be at this point. 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." Travers added, "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. We're rooting for Vince as he goes down this wild and nihilistic route to discover who he once was, and in many ways still is, because it gets him out of a stuck place. That's where a lot of us feel we are right now, which makes this series so timely for today."