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Monday 23rd September 2019

What's the future for Happy Valley as star of drama heads for Hollywood?

We couldn't cope if he wasn't in it

Happy Valley and Grantchester star James Norton has said he hopes to establish himself in Hollywood with his first film in the movie capital.

The British actor, 32, has forged a career in UK television, with performances also including Happy Valley and War & Peace, but he is now hitting the big screen with his first Hollywood production, Flatliners.

“It was good, it was a new experience for me and I think you could tell I was the green, fresh (actor) – I was running around, having the time of my life because it was all new,” he told the Press Association in Los Angeles.

“Some of the set pieces which you just don’t have access to in television are really fun and are really exciting – driving down a freeway on a motorbike on my own at 100 kmh was the best theme-park ride of my life.

“There’s an amazing amount of brilliant writers and directors in this town so hopefully if this allows me maybe an entry into that, then great.”

Flatliners, also starring Ellen Page, Nina Dobrev and Diego Luna, is a remake of the 1990 film of the same name.

It sees a group of medical students at a prestigious school experiment on each other by stopping their hearts so they can experience the afterlife before being resuscitated.

She doesn’t know what the story is yet. She is mulling it in her head but we are thinking about giving it a bit of space in story terms.

Original star Kiefer Sutherland also plays a role in the remake, which is out in UK cinemas on September 29.

While we are all for James spreading his wings and becoming the darling of the film capital, it selfishly makes us worry about the repercussions for Happy Valley, aka the best show on TV in the past five years.

Discussing the prospect of James disappearing, writer of his other big show Grantchester, James Runcie, said: "James Norton is in such big demand now that I've no idea if he'll be available to film a new series."

Eek. Not sounding too good!

HOWEVER, it's been reported that Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright is crafting series three with James very much in mind.

Producer Nicola Shindler told Radio Times: “Sally is thinking about a story and the story she is thinking about literally needs time. Because if you look at the characters that are left, there is Sarah, there is James Norton and there is a young boy, who the minute he turns into a teenager it becomes a much more interesting story.

“She doesn’t know what the story is yet. She is mulling it in her head but we are thinking about giving it a bit of space in story terms.”

Well, the next run won't air until the end of 2018 at the earliest, so we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed.