Sky Atlantic's Riviera

Riviera: Neil Jordan disowns Sky Atlantic’s new show

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Sky Atlantic’s latest big budget drama, Riviera, is being heavily sold off the back of Neil Jordan’s involvement. But Jordan, the director of features such as The Company Of WolvesInterview With The Vampire and The Crying Game, has moved to distance himself from the programme in a new interview with The Guardian.

Riviera stars Julia Stiles as the wife of a billionaire, who’s killed in a suspicious explosion. And with over 5 million downloads thus far across the Sky service, it’s proven to be a sizeable hit for the broadcaster, even if the reviews have been on the ‘very sniffy’ side.

Neil Jordan is credited as being the co-writer and creator of the show, with John Banville co-writing too. But he declared that “I can’t claim it’s mine. If I had been in control of the thing it would have been quite different”.

“Critics have said ‘is this the same Neil Jordan that wrote The Crying Game? Is this the same John Banville who won the Booker prize?’”, he added, Revealing that “the two episodes we wrote together were reworked by others, after I pulled out”. Banville, too, is believed to be unhappy with the changes.

As Jordan said of his episodes, “they were changed, to my huge surprise and considerable upset. There were various sexual scenes introduced into the story and a lot of very expository dialogue. I objected in the strongest terms possible”.

It didn’t stop his name being used on the extensive publicity for the show. The hostile reviews haven’t got in the way of its success either, with a second season now expected to be ordered.

The full piece with The Guardian is here.