Sean Bean will star in an epic new crime drama, This City Is Ours (working title), where he'll play gang leader Ronnie Phelan, who begins eyeing retirement just as a rival organisation prepares to attack.


Created and written by Stephen Butchard, who penned the first three seasons of historical drama The Last Kingdom, the series is billed as "a story about family, and love destroyed and corrupted by ambition, pride and greed".

James Nelson-Joyce co-stars as Ronnie's longtime friend and right-hand man Michael Kavanagh, who is tempted by the prospect of following his boss out of a life of crime after falling in love with a woman named Diana (Hannah Onslow).

All the while, he'll face opposition from Ronnie's ruthless son, Jamie (Jack McMullen), who doesn't want to share his father's criminal empire with anyone and is more than happy to fight for it.

The synopsis teases: "Both Michael and Jamie have bold ideas to modernise the gang, and they will battle for control of it. But Michael’s biggest battle will be to save the woman he loves and the child he has always wanted."

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Adding yet more tension to the mix, one of Ronnie's cocaine shipments – coming all the way from Colombia to Liverpool – mysteriously goes missing, indicating that their operation may be under attack from an outside force.

Nelson-Joyce said: "It's an absolute honour to be a part of this exciting show. I knew from reading the first episode that I had to take on this compelling story of crime, loyalty and, above all, love."

This City Is Ours co-stars Julie Graham (Shetland) as Elaine, Ronnie's wife and family co-leader, with Laura Aikman (Gavin & Stacey), Kevin Harvey (Time), Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Derry Girls), Mike Noble (Shardlake), Bobby Schofield (SAS Rogue Heroes), Darci Shaw (Judy) and Stephen Walters (Slow Horses) also in the cast.

Saul Dibb has been hired as director on the project, having recently helmed the BAFTA-winning true crime miniseries The Sixth Commandment, which starred Timothy Spall and Anne Reid.

Hannah Onslow wearing a black and white dress at a film premiere
Hannah Onslow. Kate Green/Getty Images for BFI

Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, commented: "It’s a joy to see cameras rolling on This City Is Ours with a glorious cast who have made Stephen Butchard’s sublime scripts even more exciting.

"Under the skilful direction of Saul Dibb, BBC viewers are in for one hell of a ride."

Andy Harries, CEO of Left Bank Pictures and executive producer, added: "Stephen Butchard is a master storyteller, and his scripts are sharp, fast-paced and brilliantly observed.

"He throws us in at the deep end with fascinating, multi-faceted characters, and we have put together a top tier cast to bring them to life. This City Is Ours is going to blow the bloody doors off."

This City Is Ours will consist of eight hour-long episodes filmed in Liverpool and Spain, which will air on BBC One and iPlayer at an as-yet-unspecified time.

This City Is Ours is coming soon to the BBC.


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