Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Detective drama Rebus set to return to TV screens

Ian Rankin
Image caption Ian Rankin's first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses, was published 30 years ago.

One of Scotland's most famous detectives looks set to make a return to the small screen.

It is 10 years since the fictional Edinburgh detective John Rebus last appeared on television.

But now independent producer Eleventh Hour Films has announced that it has acquired the television rights to Ian Rankin's best selling crime novels.

The deal coincides with the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses.

Award-winning writer Gregory Burke has been tasked with adapting the novels for TV, according to the production company.

'Bold and visionary'

The Scottish playwright won plaudits for his play Black Watch and for his screenplay for the critically-acclaimed film '71.

Eleventh Hour Films said he will work up a "bold and visionary take for a contemporary international TV audience".

Mr Burke's attachment to the project has been warmly welcomed by Rebus' creator, Ian Rankin.

Image caption Ken Stott played Rebus from 2000-2007, and appeared in a BBC Children in Need sketch with Alex Norton.

He said: "I'm so thrilled and honoured that Gregory Burke is bringing his outstanding storytelling talent to Rebus.

"As far as I'm concerned it's the perfect match, allowing the character of John Rebus to emerge in all his complex three-dimensional glory."

Mr Burke added: "It is an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to work on adapting an iconic character like John Rebus for television.

"As someone who has grown up and lives in south east Scotland, Ian Rankin's best-selling books provide the perfect material to make a thrilling series about crime in the modern world."

In a series of tweets to fans, Mr Rankin also said that he had his "fingers crossed" that actor Ken Stott would reprise his role as the gruff detective.

Stott took on the lead role in an earlier TV incarnation of Rebus, an STV production for ITV which ran from 2000 until 2007, replacing John Hannah.

The author also suggested that more time would be given to each story, with longer episodes.

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