January 23, 2014 3:50pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston to Star in Sky's 'Fortitude'
A month after Starz pulled out of its Fortitude co-production with Sky Atlantic, the drama from Simon Donald has announced an all-star cast for the drama series.
Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston and Sofie Grabol will star in Sky Atlantic's Fortitude, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Additionally, Richard Dormer, Jessica Raine, Luke Treadaway, Nicholas Pinnock and Johnny Harris will co-star in the series, which will premiere on Sky Atlantic HD.
Created and written by Donald (Low Winter Sun), the 13-episode Fortitude centers on how a violent murder of a British research scientist affects a close-knit community with the unsettling horror threatening the future of the town itself. Sheriff Dan Anderssen (Dormer, Game of Thrones), local head of police, leads a world-class search and rescue team in the death of the scientist and he is forced to work alongside DCI Morton Baldwell (Tucci), a British detective who's flown into Fortitude. As the search for the killer continues and the suspect list grows, each cop finds compelling reasons to mistrust the other.
Grabol (The Killing) will play the town's governor, where the slaying threatens her plan to transform Fortitude from a mining town into a site for high-end tourism. And for Henry Tyson (Gambon, Harry Potter, The King's Speech), a wildlife photographer who only has weeks left to live, the murder is the catalyst to unearthing Fortitude’s darkest secret.
Also key to the story are Charlie Stoddart (Eccleston, Doctor Who), an English scientist who heads up the Arctic Biology department at the Fortitude Arctic Research Centre, talented young scientist Vincent Rattrey (Treadaway, Clash of the Titans), the newest member of Burke’s team, and Jules Sutter (Raine, Call the Midwife), who is married to Frank Sutter (Pinnock, Top Boy), Fortitude’s chief search and rescue pilot.
Sky Vision will handle international distribution of the series, including in the U.S. Executive producers on the Fifty Fathoms/Tiger Aspect drama are Donald, Patrick Spence, Andrew Woodhead and Frith Tiplady. Anne Mensah and Cameron Roach will oversee for Sky Atlantic. Matthew Bird produces, Sam Miller directs and Game of Thrones' Gemma Jackson serves as the production designer.
Fortitude will be shot on location in Iceland and the U.K.
“Sky brings customers quality entertainment like no one else and 2014 is going to be our biggest year yet. We will be commissioning drama at a world-class scale and ambition and Fortitude is the first of those pieces. Set against the beauty of the Arctic landscape, it tells the story of an apparently idyllic community coming to terms with a murder at its heart. This will be cinematic drama on a grand scale with a cast of truly great actors,” Sky Entertainment Channels directo Stuart Murphy said.
Added Julia Barry, director of Sky Atlantic HD: “Our audience loves great, world-class story-telling and so Fortitude is a perfect fit for Sky Atlantic. We’re thrilled to welcome Stanley -- in his first British television role -- and the rest of this amazing group of actors to the channel."
Starz initially signed on to co-produce the drama with Sky Atlantic but pulled out of the project in December. It was slated to be the first co-production pact with the U.K.'s Sky Atlantic.