Tense as a clenched butt.When it first appeared on BBC as a serialized political thriller, the six episode State of Play won both awards and praise in the UK. The reviews are a fun read, especially when they describe the show as being "Buttock-clenchingly tense". Fantastic! I’ll be the first to vote for more of those blurbs playing across DVD cover art.

With its success and a murder mystery plot involving oil, State of Play is being adapted (and shortened- my bladder thanks you) for a US setting. The US adaptation, being set up by Universal, has selected The Last King of Scotland director Kevin MacDonald to lead the project and craft another Brad Pitt starring critical darling. Paul Abbott, writer of the original BBC series, will Executive Produce.

In the BBC version of the story, a few random killings are investigated by a team of journalists, one with ties to Parliament. One of the murders happens to be a young researcher (ie- Parliamentary boy toy), which leads the team to discover the murders are more than random, they’re an outgrowth of big government and big (oil) business covering up nefarious schemes. Since the stage is being changed to the US, we’ll no doubt be looking at Congressional impropriety, which may be shocking, but I’ve heard it happens from time to time.

In the meantime, Kevin MacDonald is finishing up My Enemy’s Enemy, which focuses on Klaus Barbie, a Nazi Gestapo agent who set up shop as an American spy and Western government enforcer after WW II.