By: Alex Moreland
Production on Gangs of London season two – the follow-up to Sky Atlantic’s biggest ever original drama launch – is currently underway, with the crime drama due to return in 2022.
Filming the ambitious second series has proven logistically complicated, however, because of the safety precautions needed to film during the ongoing pandemic. (Earlier this year, production halted on the Sky drama for 10 days after a crew member tested positive for coronavirus.)
How has star Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù found it, making the series under such challenging circumstances?
“It was fantastic to be back at work,” Dìrísù told RadioTimes.com while promoting new film Mothering Sunday. “And also to have the attitude that we were going to overcome this and create something beautiful.”
“I don’t think we would have been able to start the second season of Gangs of London when we were shooting Mothering Sunday,” he explained. “There was too much that we needed to do in terms of distancing that we couldn’t have a massive [production].”
“Gangs of London is so expansive – the other day, we were shooting, and I think we had 60 or 70 supporting artists in the room. It was ventilated, we were wearing masks when we were shooting, we’re still adhering to the guidelines as much as possible, but that would not have run this time last year.
“It’s good that there’s been a relaxation of the rules, whilst still being as safe as possible, to allow us to continue to make those large-scale productions – but we wouldn’t have been able to shoot Gangs of London had we not had projects like Mothering Sunday last year to show that it was possible, step by step.”
Gangs of London co-creator, writer/director Gareth Evans, explained to RadioTimes.com last year that “it took us three years to get [season one] designed and done and out”, noting that the “weird, unprecedented times at the moment” would likely impact production on season two.
Nonetheless, the first season of the drama starring Dìrísù as undercover cop Elliot Finch was a hit, and the second is already much anticipated – does he think there’s scope for Gangs of London to continue for a third year or more?
“I’m not in the room to think that far ahead unfortunately!” he laughs. “I really hope it will be a series that is really popular and successful and that everyone can connect with. Hopefully, with that success and popularity, there is a demand for more.
“But take it a step at a time. Let’s finish the season, see how people respond to it and wait for the green light for third – if there will be one?” he teased, a knowing smile on his face.
For the moment though, whether there’s a third season or not, it’s clear enough that Dìrísù is hugely enjoying the whole Gangs of London experience.
“I grew up watching action films with my dad and sharing that with him,” he remembers. “I think young boys and teenage boys enjoy that rough and tumble, so Gangs of London is a dream come true. Being paid to do something like that is joyful.”