AMC’s crime drama Gangs of London borrows from a diverse, global library of gangster film conventions. It’s more than just The Godfather with tea and crumpets.
“I think the challenge we had was to try to take the things that we love about the genre, but make them unique and make them different, and present something, especially for British television, that we feel hasn’t been done before,” says creator, director and executive producer Gareth Evans.
“Most of my influences have come mainly from sort of like Asian cinema,” Evans says. “So I’ve been very influenced by Triad movies and Yakuza movies. So a lot of Japanese cinema, a lot of Hong Kong cinema has been a major influence on the stuff that I’ve written, and the stuff that I’ve made. But for sure, we’re all fans of The Sopranos, we’re all fans of Peaky Blinders, we’re all fans of the workspace of Scorsese or Coppola.”
In Gangs of London, crime syndicate boss Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) controls access to a port through which his international customers smuggle contraband into the U.K. When an unknown kingpin has Wallace whacked, the family’s delicate web of business dealings starts to unravel. Finn’s headstrong son, Sean (Joe Cole), takes control and puts the screws to their customers by closing the docks until someone ferrets out the person who called for the hit on his father.
Tensions run high as family, friends and foes come to pay their respects at Finn’s funeral. The powder keg goes off in a massive pub brawl between rival gang foot soldiers, and low-level Wallace family enforcer Elliot Finch (Sope Dirisu) turns into a one-man army in one of the more entertainingly over-the-top fight sequences on TV.
“We wanted to make sure the first action sequence in the show was gonna be something that would be like fun and dynamic, and you know, more of a knockabout and have a little bit of humor to it, and feel like a roller-coaster ride,” Evans says. “From the moment [Elliot] bursts into that pub, it’s almost like a shark just going straight forward.”
Gangs of London premieres on AMC Sunday, April 4, at 10:14pm ET/PT. The first season consists of 10 hours and is already available to stream in its entirety on AMC+. A second season has been ordered and expected to debut in 2022.