In the summer of 2012, filmmaker Tony Gilroy had just directed franchise entry “The Bourne Legacy,” but he wasn’t fooling himself. In his pragmatic view, tentpoles were taking over and the lifespan for mid-sized movies—the kind that were his bread and butter like “Michael Clayton” and “Duplicity”—within Hollywood at least, was dying fast. “It’s like complaining about the weather. It’s a fact,” he said of the dearth of modest studio pictures. And as many have observed, including his peer Steven Soderbergh for example, the appetite for that genre and form of storytelling had migrated. “There will be exceptions for decades, but as a rule: the middle class ambitious dramatic filmmaking—it’s on TV. That’s why TV is so great right now, because they got that form of storytelling. That kind of work and that kind of expectation of from the audience is on television in a really extraordinary way.”
Asked at the time whether he would consider TV, Gilroy said he was unsure. After all, a new ‘Bourne’ franchise had just been launched with Jeremy Renner and if it took off, it could eat up several years of his life. But Universal has decide to go another way with the next ‘Bourne’ film (a move that apparently is only controversial to us) and so Gilroy is free to try his hand at other endeavors. And television will be that medium.
Gilroy and his brother Dan have made a deal with Gaumont International Television, the U.S. arm of Gaumont film studios in France, to produce their first foray into TV: “Monsieur De Paris.” Created and written by the Gilroy brothers, the show will set in the early 1930s of Paris and chronicle the story of the official executioner of France, “keeper of the guillotine and caretaker of a medieval ritual transposed into a modern world,” according to Deadline. Born into the profession, the executioner is evidently a man who lives two lives, one of family man and husband and his other side: a sanctioned killer of the republic.
“We’ve waited a long time to find the right moment, the right idea, and the right place to have a long-form adventure,” Tony Gilroy said in a statement. He will also be directing, though it’s unclear if that work will extend beyond the pilot episode. Dan Gilroy co-wrote “The Bourne Legacy,” and his directorial debut, “Nightcrawler,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton and his wife Rene Russo, recently began shooting in L.A. Perhaps we’ll see that story—about a young man who stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism—during the festival circuit of 2014.