McMafia may sound like a spoof drama in which the Burger King and Ronald McDonald duke it out for burger dominance through gangs and organized crime, but it’s actually a new AMC series that starts tonight — and the pre-premiere press is looking good.
Here’s everything you need to know leading up to the U.S. premiere of the AMC show (it already started airing in the U.K. on BBC One.)
McMafia book and the show’s plot
McMafia, which is a fictional drama, is based on the nonfiction book McMafia: Seriously Organized Crime by journalist Misha Glenny. The book is an account of international organized crime, but the new AMC show takes this prompt and runs with it, centering the series around a British-raised man who’s the son of a Russian mobster (and a mafia boss at that) who’s trying to leave the world of organized crime.
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If McMafia the new AMC show follows the same arc of the book, it will reveal how organized crime runs through our daily lives — and no country is immune. The book takes readers from Ukraine to Canada, Dubai to Brazil. It looks like the TV show will follow suit as the filming locations include London, Zagreb, Qatar, Mumbai, Prague, Cairo, Belgrade, Belize, Istanbul, Moscow and Tel Aviv.
You’ll catch James Norton as Alex Godman, the lead in the new AMC series, a role for which he drew inspiration from The Godfather’s Michael Corleone, Entertainment Weekly reports. And the character might just throw you for some loops, but only because even he doesn’t truly understand himself.
Norton shared with EW that his character “has this wonderful complex mix of conflict and contradiction.” So watch him carefully, and don’t always believe him. “You never quite know where he stands. I don’t think he quite knows where he stands,” Norton revealed. “He’s constantly explaining to himself that his motivation is honorable and worthy,” but at the same time, Norton dishes, “Alex is kind of the last to realize he’s being seduced and he’s in it for other reasons — less worthy reasons of avarice, greed, [and] out for power, revenge.”
You’ll also catch David Strathairn (from The Bourne Ultimatum and Good Night, and Good Luck) as Semiyon Kleiman; Juliet Rylance (from The Knick and Frances Ha) as Alex’s girlfriend, Rebecca Harper; Mariya Shukshina (from Yolki 3 and Terrorist Ivanona) as Oksana Godman, Alex’s mother; and Aleksey Serebryakov (from The Method and Leviathan) as Dmitri Godman, former mob boss and patriarch of the Godman family.
Watch the McMafia trailer
If you’ve seen The Godfather or Sopranos, you have some idea of what to expect from the new AMC series, McMafia. But if you’re unfamiliar with this famous mafia film and TV show, you can catch out the McMafia trailer below for a sneak peek at the action:
And see the promo from the BBC release of McMafia below:
McMafia release date on AMC
Although McMafia already started running on BBC back in January, you can catch the first episode of the mini series tonight, Monday, February 26 on AMC at 9:00 p.m. EST. The episode will run until 11:15 p.m. EST, after which AMC will rerun the premiere of McMafia for all those night owls who missed the first showing.
The show, a mini-series, will span 8 episodes, the first of which is released tonight.