There’s still no word on whether British actor Daniel Craig will reprise the role of James Bond in future installments of the film franchise, but Showtime has already lined up the 48-year old’s next high-profile project: Craig will make his TV series debut in the U.S. with Purity, a “morally complex story of youthful idealism, extreme loyalty and cold-blooded murder,” the network announced Wednesday.
Showtime has ordered Purity straight to series, picking up 20 episodes across two seasons with production set to begin in 2017. Craig will also executive-produce the “tragicomedy,” which revolves around several different characters with intersecting stories around the world, alongside Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, David Hare, and author Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections). Hare and Franzen will also write on the project, which is based on the latter’s 2015 novel of the same name. Three-time Oscar-nominee Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children) will also write and executive-produce in addition to directing every episode of the series.
“Jonathan Franzen’s Purity is an epic American novel that pulses with the energy of a psychological thriller. I whipped through it in a week,” David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks, said via a press release. “His gripping and timely story has attracted a powerhouse team – Todd Field, Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, David Hare, along with Franzen himself, and the brilliant Daniel Craig who is perfectly cast as the charismatic, mysterious ‘Andreas Wolf.’ Put it all together and Purity promises to be the kind of taut, long-form, serialized storytelling that is the best of premium television, and is precisely what we at Showtime aspire to deliver.”
Craig, whose previous film roles include Road to Perdition, Munich, and Layer Cake, will next be seen on stage opposite David Oyelowo in an adaptation of Othello at the New York Theatre Workshop. While it hasn’t been confirmed, rumors continue to swirl that the Cheshire, England, native will exit the James Bond series after appearing as the iconic character four times between 2006 and 2015.
Purity marks another step into TV territory for Rudin, who’s produced a slew of successful films across a robust career, including Ex Machina, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Captain Phillips, and the Craig-starring The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in recent years. According to Variety, the producer currently has other TV projects in development with Fox, FX, and National Geographic.
Further details, including full cast additions and a premiere date for Purity, have not yet been announced.