12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
First Look: Maggie Gyllenhaal in Sundance's 'Honourable Woman' (Photos)
Production is underway on Sundance Channel's upcoming original miniseries The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.
In the eight-part drama, the Academy Award nominee (Crazy Heart) makes her largest TV commitment to date starring as Nessa Stein, the daughter of a Zionist arms procurer who as a child witnessed her father's assassination. Now an adult, Nessa inherits his company and changes course from supplying arms to laying data-cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank. Her efforts to reconcile the Israelis and Palestinians lands her an appointment to the House of Lords and creates an international political maelstrom.
Filming in the U.K. and Morocco, the series includes Stephen Rea as Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, a spy digging deep into Nessa Stein's family; his bitter ex-wife Anjelica (Lindsay Duncan,The Hollow Crown); Oscar and Tony nominee Janet McTeer (Damages) as the head of MI6; Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch) as Nessa's brother Ephra and Katherine Parkinson (Sherlock) as his pregnant wife, Rachel. Nurse Jackie's Eve Best, Lubna Azabal (Body of Lies), Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones), Genevieve O’Reilly (Episodes) and Igal Naor (House of Saddam) co-star in the series, which boasts a cast of nearly 100.
BAFTA winner Hugo Blick (The Shadow Line) will pen the script, direct and executive produce alongside Drama Republic's Greg Brenman (Billy Elliot), with Abi Bach (Small Island) on board to produce the Sundance and BBC Worldwide North America co-production. The project hails from Eight Rooks and Drama Republic for BBC Two and is co-produced by Sundance. Polly Hill will oversee for BBC, with BBC Worldwide holding on to international distribution rights. Jemma Adkins, senior vp scripted productions at BBC Worldwide North America, brokered the deal. BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson and BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow commissioned the series, which will air on BBC Two before it airs on Sundance.
The Honourable Woman will be set in the U.K., Middle East and the U.S. and will film on location starting in July. It will air in the U.S. and BBC Two in the U.K. in 2014.
Get a first look at Gyllenhaal in action above and below.