In an interview on 15 January 2011 with the Scottish newspaper "The Daily Record", John Hannah said that he thought he had been mis-cast as Rebus: "I wasn't sure if I was right for it. Ian Rankin gave me his blessing though and I don't think I did a bad job. But I wasn't the critics' or fans' image of the character so it never really worked out. I actually wanted Peter Mullan but ITV wouldn't commission him. They would only do it with me because ITV are very short-sighted - they look at who's hot and then decide that's who they'll go with, regardless of whether that person is right for the part."
Ian Rankin confirms that Rebus was originally considered for television in the late 80s and early 90s when 'Knots and Crosses' was planned to be adapted featuring Leslie Grantham as Rebus. Rankin presumes they would have relocated Rebus to London and made the character English, but ultimately this adaptation fell through.
Ian Rankin, who created the character of Rebus, has never seen the TV adaptations because he does not want the character in his novels to be changed, subconsciously or deliberately, by the way in which John Hannah or Ken Stott plays him.