Exclusive: Producer Roy Lee Teases ‘The Departed’ TV Series Set in a New City

     February 26, 2016


Those who love Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, including this writer, know that the film originally comes from a popular Chinese crime film called Infernal Affairs. That film, which was directed by Lau Wai-Keung and Alan Mak, and starred Andy Lau and Tony Chiu Wai Leung, spawned two sequels, both of which are surprisingly galvanic and enveloping, both as action films and dramatic crime thrillers. So, the question becomes obvious: how hasn’t there been a sequel to The Departed yet? Or how hasn’t there been a prequel, for that matter? Well, as it turns out, there are some reasonably solid answers for these questions.

the_departed_posterDuring a recent conversation between producer Roy Lee and our own Steve Weintraub at DICE 2016, Collider learned that the idea had been passed around for a while, and The Departed writer William Monahan thought up an original idea for a second movie. The concept, Lee said, would involve a need “to bring back certain characters who died in the original movie.“ Unfortunately, Lee went on to clear up why things didn’t work out: “[Monahan] came up with an amazing idea to make it work, but it would be so expensive and Scorsese didn’t want to do a sequel.”

From there, however, Lee suggested that there was a chance for the film to transfer to television, as a series revamped to include part of the original storyline; Lee compared it to what has happened with the transition from the Coen brothers to Noah Hawley’s series. Here’s what Lee had to say about bringing the story to TV:

The Departed as a concept is amazing. That’s what attracted me to the story, the two moles working on either side of the law, and translating that idea into other settings with new characters, like how Fargo has taken the feel of the Coen Brother’s film. We were having discussions about making infernal affairs a television series. A different city, so it’s not anything like The Departed, but essentially The Departed as a TV series.”

The producer went on to say that the discussion right now is with the writers on “whether it could be a network show or a cable series,” considering the amount of episodes they could get out of the storyline. “Now, you can develop six episodes and one that could be a franchise for years,” Lee went onto say, which is a very true view of how the current TV landscape looks. A TV show based on The Departed, with a new city to explore and new narrative avenues to go down, could do extremely well on a network like FX or AMC, and could even make for the rare dramatic coup for NBC or Fox. This is one we’ll have to keep our eyes out for.

For more on Lee’s other projects, click on the links below:


Image via Warner Bros.


Image via Warner Bros.


Image via Warner Bros.