EXCLUSIVE: Testament Of Youth director James Kent is on board to direct the first two episodes of upcoming BBC2 drama MotherFatherSon, which Richard Gere and rising UK actor Billy Howle (On Chesil Beach) are in talks to join. Filming is being lined up for May on the series which comes from The Assassination Of Gianni Versace writer Tom Rob Smith.
Should Golden Globe-winner Gere confirm for the drama it would mark his first major role in a TV drama series. The character earmarked for the U.S. star is that of a tough media tycoon and the series will in part explore the dynamic between him, his aristocratic former wife and their free spirited 30-year old son. The latter would be played by Howle who recently starred opposite Saoirse Ronan in Dominic Cooke’s Toronto drama On Chesil Beach. The role of Kathryn has yet to be cast, but is expected to be confirmed shortly.
BBC Two commissioned the eight-part drama series from author and screenwriter Tom Rob Smith (Child 44), whose London Spy was nominated for five BAFTAs and who most recently wrote on FX’s buzz drama The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
The political and psychological thriller charts the intersection between police, politics and the press but is also a family saga. Alan Poul (Six Feet Under) is on board to produce the BBC Studios project.
Pretty Woman and Chicago actor Gere most recently starred in Oren Moverman’s The Dinner and Jon Avnet’s Three Christs. Kent is currently in post-production on Fox Searchlight-backed war-drama The Aftermath, starring Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Clarke. Previous feature Testament Of Youth starred Alicia Vikander and Kit Harrington and was produced by David Heyman and Rosie Alison. SPC picked up U.S. rights. Recent TV credits for the director include American Crime and The White Queen. Howle will next be seen in upcoming Netflix movie Outlaw King.
Kent is repped by CAA and United Agents. Gere is repped by WME. Howle is repped by CAA and Curtis Brown. UK tabloid The Daily Mail first reported Gere and Howle’s attachments.