Sky has announced it will be increasing its original content across 2021 and 2022, as it prepares to launch 30 Sky original films, 30 original Sky documentaries, and three original new dramas.
The new films include A Boy Called Christmas, narrated by Stephen Fry and starring Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith and Kristen Wiig; Twist, a modern-day take on Charles Dickens’ famous novel starring Sir Michael Caine and Rita Ora; Dragon Rider, voiced by Felicity Jones and Patrick Stewart; and To Olivia starring Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes.
This is a significant increase from Sky’s two Sky Original films that it released last year, which included Secret Garden and Four Kids and It.
Following the launch of its new factual channels last year, Sky Documentaries, Sky Nature and Sky Crime, Sky’s new documentaries will include Chernobyl 86, directed by Emmy Award winner James Jones; Positive, marking Britain’s 40-year struggle with HIV/AIDS; and Bamber: Murder at the Farm, based on the brutal murders committed by Jeremy Bamber in 1985, with Louis Theroux serving as executive producer.
The three new original dramas across 2021 and 2022 include Wolfe, from writer Paul Abbott (Shameless, Clocking Off); The Midwich Cuckoos, written and created by David Farr (The Night Manager); and Extinction from Giri/Haji writer Joe Barton.
Wolfe follows revered yet unconventional forensic pathologist Professor Wolfe Kinteh, played by Babou Ceesay (Guerilla, Rogue One), who is described as “half genius, half liability”, but he always gets the job done. Each week Wolfe is catapulted into a new environment to piece together the parts to solve the crime – just not in a way that anybody expects.
The series also stars Amanda Abbington (Sherlock), Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), Naomi Yang (Poisonings, Brave New World), Adam Long (Vera, Happy Valley) and Shaniqua Okwok (Small Axe, Anthony). It’s expected to air in autumn 2021.
Farr’s The Midwich Cookoos is a modern adaptation of John Wyndham’s classic science-fiction story, set in an ordinary sleepy commuter town in contemporary southern England, which suddenly falls unconscious on one mysterious September evening. The cast has yet to be announced, and the drama is slated to air in 2022.
Extinction is described as “propulsive action thriller”, which follows the story of a man, played by Paapa Essiedu, who keeps reliving the same day over and over again.
It’s set to be an exploration of memory, fate, and the limits of love and self-sacrifice. The cast also includes Tom Burke (Strike), Anjli Mohindra (The Bodyguard) and Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly). The series will be released in 2022.
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