Norton will play the lead, Alex Godman, the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia past in the eight-part drama, created by Hossein Amini (Drive) and James Watkins (The Woman In Black) and based on Misha Glenny’s best-selling book.
McMafia will chart Alex’s journey into the world of international criminals, money launderers, corrupt politicians and ruthless intelligence agencies, taking him into an network that stretches from London to Moscow, Dubai to Mumbai, Africa to the Americas; a battleground where Mexican cocaine cartels compete with Pakistani drug lords, Balkan smugglers and the Russian Mafia itself.
The show’s writing team, led by Amini and Watkins, also includes David Farr (The Night Manager), Peter Harness (Doctor Who, Wallander, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Laurence Coriat (Wonderland, Me Without You).
“James Norton is at the top of his game, and I know he will do justice to the riveting McMafia created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins,” said Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content.
McMafia is executively produced by Nick Marston, Dixie Linder, Ben Hall and Robyn Slovo for Cuba Pictures; Matthew Read for BBC One; and Amini, Watkins and Glenny. Paul Ritchie is producing.