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Christopher McQuarrie Tapped for BBC Adaptation ‘Unforgiven’

Written by on June 26, 2013 

Before he jets off to handle Mission: Impossible V, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie has been wise enough to schedule a non-franchise effort for its aftermath. Deadline reports that he — of The Usual Suspects and, most recently, Jack Reacher fame — is to try out (what we can presume is) a quieter, more personal story with Unforgiven, which Graham King is producing from the BBC’s acclaimed 2009 miniseries.

First penned by Sally Wainwright and directed by David Evans, Unforgiven was the three-episode chronicle of Ruth Slater, a woman being released from a 15-year prison sentence enacted for killing a pair of police officers attempting to evict her family. The gap between actions and freedom notwithstanding, Ruth’s attempt to maintain a low-profile way of living is broken when two of the deceased officer’s sons take up revenge — from here, the story plumbs questions morality and, indeed, forgiveness.

McQuarrie had put the project in his sights around the summer of 2010 (Angelina Jolie was to have starred), followed by the courting of Scott Frank (The Lookout) in late 2011. We’re now back to the source — good enough for him to return? hopefully –though as work is to soon kick off on Mission: Impossible V and occupy plenty of time, don’t expect Unforgiven to begin filming in the immediate future. Much as I’d like to see his touch for more personal action dynamics applied to one of the more enjoyably ludicrous franchises currently operating, it should be nice to have this in the waiting.

For some idea of what to expect from Unforgiven, here’s a trailer for the original episodes:

Is McQuarrie a proper fit for the story of Unforgiven? Have you seen the original miniseries?

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