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Joe Wright, Jez & John-Henry Butterworth Board ‘The Department’ Based On French Series ‘The Bureau’

Joe Wright, director behind the Golden Globe and multi-BAFTA winning films Pride and Prejudice, The Darkest Hour and Atonement, is set to direct and executive produce The Department, based on the acclaimed French espionage political thriller The Bureau, from George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures, MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios. Wright replaces Clooney, who initially was slated to direct the series.

Also boarding the series are Tony Award-winning writer Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (Ford v FerrariEdge of Tomorrow), who will executive produce and pen all 10 episodes. Clooney and Heslov will executive produce through their Smokehouse Pictures along with David C. Glasser and 101 Studios.

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Given a straight-to-series at Showtime in 2023, The Department will premiere on Paramount+ with Showtime later this year.

Michael Fassbender is reported to be in talks to star in the series.

“Joe Wright is a visionary director with a gift of focusing on intricate details to craft immersive and visually striking stories,” said Chris McCarthy, President/CEO Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios. “And, Jez and John-Henry are masterful writers whose witty and emotionally charged language dives deep into their characters’ moral complexities, while simultaneously creating a propulsive narrative. Bringing these powerhouse creatives together alongside George Clooney and Grant Heslov is sure to give The Bureau the reinvention it deserves.”

Le Bureau centers on the daily life and missions of agents within France’s principal external security service. It focuses on the “Bureau of Legends,” responsible for training and handling deep-cover agents on long-term missions in areas with French interests. Living under false identities for years, these agents’ missions are to identify and recruit good intelligence sources.

Le Bureau was created by Eric Rochant and is a Canal+ Creation Originale series produced by Top – The Originals Productions (Alex Berger, Eric Rochant) and Federation Studios (Pascal Breton). Production is slated to start later this year.

Wright is currently in post-production on M. Son Of The Century, the Sky drama series based on Antonio Scurait’s bestselling book which chronicles the birth of fascism in Italy and the Duce Benito Mussolini’s rise to power.

Jez and John-Henry Butterworth’s recent screenwriting credits include 2019’s Ford v Ferrari directed by James Mangold and starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale and 2023’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny directed by James Mangold and starring Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. On the television side, Jez Butterworth created and wrote comedy series Mammals and historical fantasy drama Britannia, which ran for three seasons.

In addition to the work with Jez, John-Henry Butterworth, together with David E. Kelley, wrote and developed the Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangers.

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