I never expected this! David Tennant has been cast in the US remake of hit ITV drama Broadchurch, which also found an audience and critical acclaim in the US during its broadcast on BBC America. A remake of the show is already planned for Fox (which creator Chris Chibnall is writing the pilot for), and it's just been revealed that Tennant will be hopping across the pond to play the lead detective!
Obviously this is a huge deal for the 42-year-old Scottish actor, who attempted to launch a US career off the back of Doctor Who five years ago. That resulted in the failed pilot Rex is Not Your Lawyer and a fun but marginal role in box-office flop Fright Night.
If Broadchurch's remake manages to grip American viewers when it airs, David Tennant stands a chance of Hugh Laurie levels of fame and fortune. Or he may be stuck in a thankless echo of his original performance, hamstrung by thatdodgy accent, and a plethora of articles will be written about how Americanising foreign hits is such a difficult business.
However, surely Broadchurch USA stands a better chance than, say, AMC's ill-fated The Killing, with its creator and male star so deeply entwined? But does this news mean Tennant won't have a role in the ITV original's second series, or that his character of DCI Alex Hardy will be written out early? He surely can't be expected to play the same role in two different countries, in two different accents!
Fox's Broadchurch begins shooting in January and will premiere either in the autumn of 2014 or early 2015. Dan Futterman (In Treatment, Capote) and Anya Epstein (In Treatment, Homicide) have joined as executive producers and showrunners, joined by executive producers Carolyn Bernstein (The Bridge) and Jane Featherstone (The Hour).