At the mention of psychological black comedy crime films from the 2000s, most people immediately think of Guy Richie's Snatch or In Bruges, the 2008 Irish film starring Colin Farrell. But the genre, which Quentin Tarantino jump-started in the mid-1990s with Pulp Fiction, had already produced its cult classic masterpiece in 2000 with the Jonathan Glazer-penned Sexy Beast, starring Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane, and earned Kingsley an Oscar nomination. Now, a Sexy Beast spinoff is heading to streaming (and should not be mixed up with the terrible British-produced reality series Sexy Beasts on Netflix).
Produced by Paramount+ as part of their ambitious U.K. slate, the Sexy Beast prequel extrapolates its plot from the film. In the original, British ex-criminal Gal Dove (Winstone) is pressured into taking on "one last job" by former associate Don Logan (Kingsley) planned by crimelord Teddy Bass (McShane). Dove, happily married to DeeDee (Amanda Redman) and living in Spain, returns to London to do the job, unaware that Don has been killed until after it is over. The new series will rewind the clock to London in the early 1990s when Gal and Don were in full swing and explore why Gal eventually left the business.
James McArdle (Mary Queen of Scots) will take over the role made famous by Winstone as a young Gal Dove, with Emun Elliot (Guilt) as the Young Don Logan. Stephen Moyer (True Blood) takes on Ian McShane's role as a middle-aged Teddy Bass, just coming into his own as a crimelord. Sarah Greene (Normal People) plays DeeDee, whom Gal meets and falls in love with over the series. Sexy Beast was the first of a wave of U.K. original dramas commissioned by Paramount+ in the last year, which includes other titles like Flatshare, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Burning Girls, all of which aren't expected to start arriving until next year at the earliest.
The series will track the origin story of the Gal Dove, Don Logan, and Teddy Bass characters, played in the movie by Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane, respectively. It will explore Gal and Don’s complicated relationship as Gal finds himself descending into the seductive madness of the London criminal world during the vibrant and volatile 1990s while falling in love with DeeDee.
McArdle, Elliot, Greene, and Moyer are just the topline cast, including Tamsin Greig (Belgravia) as Don's formidable older sister Cecilia. The show's other co-stars include Eliza Bennett (Broadchurch), Clea Martin (Showtrial), Nicholas Nunn (World On Fire), John Dagleish (The Third Day), and Robbie Gee (Paddington 2, and also starred in Snatch). Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Lex Shrapnel (Harlots), Cally Lawrence (People Just Do Nothing), David Kennedy (The Murders at White House Farm), Nitin Ganatra (The Essex Serpent) and Alice Bailey Johnson (This Is Going to Hurt) make up the rest of the cast. Showrunner Michael Caleo (The Sopranos) penned the series, and the opening episodes will be helmed by director Daniel O'Hara (Victoria).
Sexy Beast is expected to debut on Paramolunt+ in 2023.