“Do you know what I admire about the British aristocracy? They’re the original gangsters,” says a voice as the trailer for Guy Ritchie’s new series, The Gentlemen, opens.
With The Zombies’s Time Of The Season playing in the background, the camera then flicks between stars: Theo James, Kaya Scodelario and Ray Winstone feature alongside Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie), Joely Richardson (Lady Chatterley’s Lover), Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul).
This is 55-year-old Ritchie’s first-ever TV project as a director, and his fans are appropriately excited: just three weeks after the release of the series’s first trailer, which racked up millions of views, the new show has finally been given a release date – and it’s just around the corner. The Gentlemen will premiere on Netflix on March 7.
The story, which is “a new slice of the world initially brought to life in Ritchie’s 2020 film of the same name”, follows posh boy Eddie Horniman (James) whose life takes a turn when he inherits his dad’s country estate and finds himself at the centre of a weed empire. Deciding to face down challenges from rival criminals while also hoping to protect his family, Eddie gets drawn into a high-stakes game.
“The world of The Gentlemen is a little bit of me,” Ritchie told Netflix. “We’re looking forward to bringing fans back into that world, introducing new characters and their stories, and I am excited to be doing it with this extremely talented cast.”
The stellar cast also includes Chanel Cresswell (This is England), Michael Vu, Max Beesley (Hijack), Jasmine Blackborow (Marie Antoinette), Harry Goodwins (In His Hands: The Emergence), Dar Salim (The Covenant), Pearce Quigley (Detectorists), Ruby Sear, and Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick).
Ritchie released two films last year – Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre and Guy Ritchie's The Covenant – but many of his most celebrated works, such as the action-packed Sherlock Holmes updates starring Robert Downey Jr., were released over a decade ago. Meanwhile his well-loved early works, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch were released 25 years ago.
His 2020 film, The Gentlemen, which told the story of a American marijuana crime boss in London, pulled in mixed reviews, with The Standard saying, “The Gentlemen is an ode to experience. Middle-aged husbands save the day. Grizzled father-figures rule.”
In the new TV update, which Ritchie has co-written alongside Matthew Read (Peaky Blinders), a varied cast of old favourites – such as longtime Ritchie collaborator Winstone – and new faces, are set to bring a hilarious and thrilling new energy to Ritchie’s criminal world – playing out against the backdrop of an exquisite English country home.
All eight episodes of The Gentlemen will be released on Netflix on March 7