EXCLUSIVESam Riley is in talks to star in SS:GB, the Len Deighton adaptation that James Bond scribes Neil Purvis and Robert Wade are writing.  No deal has been set yet but this is a plum role in what is fast gearing up to be a prestige project. German director Philipp Kadelbach, who won plaudits and numerous awards including the International Emmy for German World War 2 mini-series Generation War, is attached to direct. The project, which is being exec produced by Sid Gentle’s Sally Woodward Gentle and produced by Patrick Schweitzer (Doctor Who), is set up at the BBC.

SS:GB is set in a UK conquered and occupied by Germany during World War II. The title refers to the branch of the Nazi SS that controls Britain.  Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer, a British homicide detective assigned to Scotland Yard, is called in to investigate a murder of a well-dressed man. To his surprise, the case draws the attention of the highest levels of the German government. Archer soon finds himself in the middle of a struggle between powerful forces.  Filming is set to begin in the fall.

Sally Woodward Gentle, who was previously creative director at Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films, set up new independent production company, Sid Gentle Films, at the end of 2013. The company intends to produce high-end scripted drama productions, long-running returning series, one-off features and mini-series for U.K. and international broadcasters, as well as developing a selection of independent feature film projects.

Sid Gentle’s six part-series The Durrells, has been commissioned by ITV. It is written by Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly) and is based on Gerald Durrell’s classic trilogy of Corfu memoirs including the much loved My Family And Other AnimalsThe Durrells will be produced by Sid Gentle Films and exec produced by company founder Sally Woodward Gentle (Any Human Heart). Sid Gentle managing director Lee Morris (Da Vinci’s Demons) will also exec produce together with Nye. Christopher Hall (Dracula) will produce.

Purvis and Wade co-wrote the latest Bond Spectre. It will be the sixth 007 instalment they have written on. Spectre has its world premiere on Monday October 26. Sony will release the same day across cinemas in the UK and open domestically on November 6.

Kadelbach’s Generation War, about five German best friends during World War 2, was a sensation on its broadcast in the country, earning seven million viewers per episode.  It was the first foreign language programme to air on the UK’s BBC Two in more than decade. Kadelbach is repped by Tavistock Wood Management and Players Agentur Management.

Sam Riley is repped by Tavistock Wood Management and WME. He next stars in Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire and Burr Steers’ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.