There was time when the thought of a streaming service hosting its own original content seemed ridiculous. Why would Netflix or Hulu bother with their own shows when they could just as easily make a buck with catalogues of old hits like Friends or Seinfeld? My how things can change in a few years time. Nowadays, streaming services are home to some of the most popular series around - and while there are certainly shows which still pull in viewers for the cable and broadcast networks, it's undeniable that a shift towards a mostly streaming television landscape is upon us.
One of those streaming services looking to snag more subscribers with their original content is Amazon. Currently, subscribers to their Amazon Prime service have unlimited access to a variety of streamable programs, including their growing collection of original series. With award-winning shows like Transparent and Mozart In The Jungle, Amazon is starting to make their mark, and a few of its current pilots also show promise (like The Tick revival).
Next to join Amazon's growing slate of original programming is a series based on Martin Scorsese's 2006 film, The Departed. It's only the latest movie property to make the jump to television - Amazon's other recent acquisition, the in-development Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski, being another - and though it bears The Departed name it won't be an exact remake of the film. Instead, the series will take the premise of The Departed (and the Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs, on which it was based) and apply it to present-day Chicago.
Written by Detroit 1-8-7 creator Jason Richman, The Departed television series will (according to Deadline's report) follow a young cop as he infiltrates a tough Latino gang, all the while that same gang plants a mole in the Chicago P.D. Much like the films which inspired it, the dramatic tension of the series will come from watching the two men try and keep their cover and complete their mission, most likely thwarting each others' progress along the way.
When the pitch for a Departed TV series was first being shopped around, producer Roy Lee compared their idea to how FX's Fargo series captures the spirit of the Coen brothers' film without directly adapting the plot. And from these early descriptions of The Departed television series it seems obvious the hope is this show will produce something similar, using the same basic premise to explore a fresh story in a new setting.
There's no word on who the series is interested in casting, but it can't be ignored that Scorsese's film benefited greatly from some truly wonderful performances. Just who is cast in The Departed TV series will definitely be a factor in whether or not the show can hold viewers attention over several episodes in the same manner as the movie. Amazon is certainly open to some surprising casting decisions (Krasinksi as Jack Ryan, for instance) so it'll be interesting to see the actors chosen to star in this series.
The Departed TV series is still in development and will premiere on Amazon. We’ll bring you more information when it becomes available.