By Joey Nolfi
May 23, 2018 at 10:29 AM EDT
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Chicago and Pretty Woman actor Richard Gere is heading back to television after a lengthy absence from the medium.

The BBC announced Tuesday the 68-year-old will play the patriarch of the family at the center of an upcoming eight-part drama series titled MotherFatherSon. Created and written by The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story writer Tom Rob Smith, the episodic program — set to air on BBC Two — will also star Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders) and Billy Howle (On Chesil Beach) as Gere’s estranged partner and son, respectively.

Per a network press release, Gere will play Max, a “charismatic, self-made American businessman with media outlets in London and around the world,” while McCrory’s Kathryn is a “British heiress” who has distanced herself from Max “following the breakdown of their marriage some years before.” Howle co-stars as Caden, the couple’s 30-year-old son who runs one of Max’s U.K. publications and is “primed to follow in his father’s footsteps as one of the most powerful men in the world.” That is, until Caden’s “self-destructive lifestyle” threatens the continuation of his family legacy.

“It’s been almost 30 years since I worked in television. I’m so pleased to be working now with the BBC on this extraordinary eight-hour project with such talented people and which resonates so much to the time we live in,” Gere said in a statement. McCrory added that Smith “has written the most astonishing script,” which she called “completely original and full of surprises.”

James Kent (The Aftermath, Testament of Youth) is set to serve as lead director on the program, which will be produced by Sharon Bloom (Silent Witness) and Lisa Osborne (Little Dorrit). Hilary Salmon, Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Alan Poul (The Newswroom), and Smith will executive produce.

BBC Studios is expected to release the series internationally following its U.K. debut. Further casting details are set to be announced in the near future, with production beginning this summer in London and Spain.