Variety reports that Netflix has joined BBC for an eight-part series based on the true story surrounding the capture and conviction of notorious con artist and serial killer Charles Sobhraj. The main character will be played by Tahar Rahim, a French actor of high acclaim who can most recently be seen in The Kindness of Strangers. He is currently filming The Eddy, a mini-series for a different streaming network, Hulu, directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land).
The series will by written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay (Ripper Street), directed by Tom Shankland (The Missing) and produced by Mammoth Screen (Poldark, World on Fire). The logline reads:
[The show will follow] Charles Sobhraj [was] the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to twenty young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal through 1975 and 1976. Psychopath, con man, thief, and master of disguise, having slipped repeatedly from the grasp of authorities worldwide, by 1976 serial killer Sobhraj was Interpol’s most wanted man and had arrest warrants on three different continents.
When Herman Knippenberg, a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walks into Sobhraj’s intricate web of crime, he sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will see these two diametrically opposed men engaged in a chase across the porous borders of the Hippie Trail, as Knippenberg seeks to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes.
Rahim is not taking the role lightly, saying, “I am thrilled to play Charles Sobhraj in The Serpent, [it’s] a role I have dreamed of portraying since I read a book about him when I was seventeen years old.” He also expressed joy of working with his collaborators.
This is not the first time in recent months that BBC and Netflix have teamed up. Netflix currently streams the BBC series Bodyguard, with Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden, and is also set to collaborate on future projects. There is a planned Dracula series from the creators of Sherlock as well as a series with Kelly MacDonald known as Giri/Haji. It seems this partnership has more to produce.