Outlander star Richard Rankin cast as Inspector Rebus in TV reboot

The Glasgow-born actor, who plays Roger Mackenzie in Outlander, will start filming the new adaptation in April.

Outlander’s Richard Rankin cast as Edinburgh detective Rebus in Viaplay reboot of Sir Ian Rankin novels Getty Images

Outlander star Richard Rankin has been cast as Inspector Rebus in an upcoming TV reboot of the beloved Scottish detective.

The Glasgow-born actor, who plays Roger Mackenzie in Outlander, will reportedly start filming the new adaptation of Sir Ian Rankin’s widely-celebrated Inspector Rebus novels in April.

Following in the footsteps of fellow Scottish actors John Hannah and Ken Stott, who led the ITV version 20 years ago, Rankin has been cast by drama producers Eleventh Hour Films for Viaplay.

The Nordic streaming service’s six-part reboot will follow Detective Inspector John Rebus at a psychological crossroads following an altercation with an infamous Edinburgh gangster.

In his 30s, recently divorced and demoted to Detective Sergeant, Rebus is paired with a new colleague and is struggling to deal with the changes in his personal and professional life.

Rankin, whose past credits include The Last Kingdom and Trust Me, said he feels “very lucky”.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be taking on the role of Rebus. I’m a big fan of the series and Sir Ian Rankin.

“I feel very lucky to be given the honour of bringing such an iconic Scottish character back to TV screens and will give all I have to do it justice.”

His casting has been backed by author Ian Rankin – who is unrelated to the actor – to “bring the character to life”.

Sir Ian said: “Rebus has been a big part of my life for a long time now and to work with Gregory Burke to create a new story that sees him navigate life as a younger man in a contemporary (and ever-changing) Scotland has been a truly fascinating process.

“I’m very much looking forward to watching Richard bring the character to life – he’s the perfect fit for the role, and not just because we coincidentally share the same surname!”

Viaplay chief content officer Filippa Wallestam said it is a “privilege to have such a famous character spearheading Viaplay’s original storytelling in the UK.”

Sir Ian wrote 24 Rebus novels between 1987 and 2002, selling 30 million copies which have been translated into thirty-six languages, attracting a major global fan base.

The author received an OBE for services to literature and was awarded a knighthood in 2022. His latest novel, ‘A Heart Full of Headstones’, was published in October 2022.

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