Idris Elba, Tim Roth and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks are just some of the names set to star in Sky’s ambitious slate of upcoming dramas.
The broadcaster has commissioned six new dramas, which will also feature Julia Stiles, Dawn French and Ricky Tomlinson, and behind-the-camera names including 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley and directors Neil Jordan and Rowan Joffe.
Roth and Hendricks will star in Sky Atlantic revenge thriller Tin Star, written by acclaimed screenwriter Joffe (28 Days Later).
A contemporary take on the Western genre, the ten-part drama tells the story of Jim Worth (Roth), an ex-Metropolitan Police detective who starts a new life in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.
In her Sky 1 debut, Dawn French stars in Delicious, a story of “love, heartbreak, food and female friendship” set in Cornwall’s Tamar Valley.
Written by Dan Sefton (Mr Selfridge), French plays passionate cook Gina in the drama which also features her “hotelier ex-husband, his new wife, Sam, and a secret that is set to upturn all of their lives” according to Sky.
French said, “Cornwall, summer, sunshine and the other S word – it will be Delicious fun.”
The broadcaster has also announced that Julia Stiles will play the lead role in Riviera, a ten-part Sky Atlantic thriller created by Oscar-winning writer and director Neil Jordan, “set in the world of the super-rich, where art, money, sex and love all come at a price”.
Stiles, best known for her roles in films like Save the Last Dance, 10 Things I Hate About You and The Bourne Ultimatum, said, “What attracted me to Riviera is the setting, a romantic and glamorous world where not everything is as it seems, and the opportunity to explore a character who is also not as she appears. Georgina is the classic anti-hero, ultimately a good person, but compromised by the corruption around her.”
It has also been revealed that The Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson, Game of Thrones star John Bradley and young actress Ellise Chappell will take the lead roles in a new adaptation of Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer. The two-hour special is scheduled to air as a family show over this coming Christmas period on Sky 1.
Based on the first of Jasper Fforde’s series of novels, it is set in the Ununited Kingdoms and follows the story of orphan Jennifer Strange who reluctantly discovers her destiny is to become the last slayer of dragons.
The broadcaster has also confirmed speculation that it has commissioned a new eight-part drama Jamestown from Carnival Films, the producers of Downton Abbey.
Set in 1619, the as-yet-uncast series tells the story of the early days of the first British settlers in America and has been written by Lark Rise to Candleford and The Paradise scriptwriter Bill Gallagher.
The broadcaster’s head of drama Anne Mensah added: “Our customers adore original drama, whether that’s a rich and complex storyline on Sky Atlantic or a blockbuster adventure on Sky 1. We are incredibly proud to be working with such amazing talent across all our dramas. Everything we do at Sky is about being passionate, bold and unique and that philosophy underlines every single one of these shows.”
All the dramas are expected to air either at the end of this year or next year.