news 3 weeks ago

PBS Masterpiece Boards Hugh Laurie, Helen McCrory Political Thriller ‘Roadkill’

Variety — Stewart Clarke

Britain is getting a new prime minister – on TV, at least, after “Peaky Blinders” star Helen McCrory signed on to play the part in the BBC political thriller “Roadkill.” PBS Masterpiece has boarded the series and will co-produce and launch it in the U.S. Masterpiece’s Rebecca Eaton will exec produce the project.

McCrory joins the previously cast Hugh Laurie who plays one of her ministers, in the series. David Hare (“Collateral”) is writing. It is being made by The Forge, the All3Media-backed producer of “National Treasure.”

All3Media International is handling distribution and struck the PBS deal, its latest with the U.S. broadcaster and hot on the heels of an agreement for European cop series “Van Der Valk.”

McCrory and Laurie will play Conservative Party politicians clinging to power in “Roadkill.” Other cast announced, Friday, include Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Westworld”), Saskia Reeves (“The Child in Time”), Sarah Greene (“Dublin Murders”), Patricia Hodge (“A Very English Scandal”), and Pip Torrens (“Preacher”).

David Hare said: “The casting of ‘Roadkill’ illustrates the extraordinary depth and range newly on show in British film acting. Hugh Laurie is leading a great ensemble.”

Britain currently has a Conservative prime minister in the form of Boris Johnson, who is fighting for his political future with an election set for Dec. 12. But Hare has been at pains to point out that “Roadkill” is a work of fiction.

The Daily Mail was first to report the news of McCrory’s involvement. Hare told the British paper that “Roadkill” is “not remotely about Johnson, [former premier] Theresa May or Brexit” and “is not in any way based on real people.”

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