Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio has lifted the lid on the future of the BBC/Netflix drama as well as possible future opportunities with U.S. broadcasters and how his own production company is getting on.
Mercurio was speaking with Deadline at the Banff World Media Festival, said that he was “going through the logistics” of a second season of the Richard Madden-fronted terror drama, which aired on BBC in the UK and Netflix globally. He confirmed that he was in talks with the British public broadcaster but that it hasn’t been officially commissioned for a second season.
Star Madden has previously talked about conversations with Mercurio about future episodes, as long as his character, David Budd, can have a holiday first.
He added that he may consider opportunities to work in the U.S. and globally now that he has got his cop thriller Line of Duty running smoothly on BBC One. Mercurio said that he had written a number of U.S. pilots between medical drama Bodies ending in 2007 and Line of Duty launching in 2012. “There are opportunities worldwide; in that period between Bodies and Line of Duty, I struggled to get original ideas away, I wrote a number of U.S. pilots that never got picked up and now with Line of Duty, it’s not ending but we’ve been doing it a long time and I’m beginning to look at the future and where that lies. I’m always led by the creative opportunity.”
He added that the growth of new platforms has meant that there are opportunities for complex stories, in a way that wasn’t necessarily always open before. “When I was writing something like Bodies, there were times where we were cautioned against making the plots too complex because the prevailing wisdom was that the audience wouldn’t watch the next episode… [but now] there is more belief that you can tell complex stories. Finally, the industry has caught up with my crazy ideas,” he deadpanned.
He dismissed any plans to move into writing comedy, joking “trotting out these thrillers seems to be going ok”.
Mercurio also opened up about the status of his own production company HTM Productions, which is a joint venture with Flack producer Hat Trick. He revealed that it had a number of projects in late stages that could be announced soon and that shows in development included an adaptation of Belgian graphic novel Lady S and a project with Humans and Harlots writer Debbie O’Malley.
“[HTM Productions] was purely that I wanted to work with other writers on other ideas. Half our slate is working with writers who are just starting out in the career and other parts are me exploiting relationships with good writers that I know socially and working on ideas that we find mutually interesting. It’s a collaboration but I tend not to do much writing in this, I’m more of an exec producer,” he said.
He added that he was enjoying the process of working with other writers. “It’s great when I don’t have to do the writing myself, normally I come out of a script meeting thinking ‘oh god, I have to write a script now’ but now someone else has to write it and I can bounce out of the meeting and come to Banff.”