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COLOGNE, Germany – Sundance Channel has boarded the BBC’s Restless, a TV adaptation of the William Boyd spy novel, which has an all-star cast attached, including Hayley Atwell (Captain America), Rufus Sewell (Pillars of the Earth), Charlotte Rampling (Melancholia), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey).
The plot of the co-production, which Boyd adapted from his own novel, is set during the early days of World War II and follows a Russian spy who tries to infiltrate the British Secret Service with the goal of influencing U.S. power brokers and swinging American public opinion in favor of fighting the Nazis.
Atwell will play the spy, Eva, with Rampling playing the same character postwar in 1976. Sewell plays British Secret Service agent Lucas Romer, who trains Eva to become a spy, along the way becoming her lover. Dockery plays Eva’s daughter Ruth, who years later discovers her mother’s secret.
Edward Hall (MI5) will direct the two-part miniseries with Hilary Bevan Jones (State of Play) producing for London-based Endor Productions. Boyd will executive produce together with the BBC’s Matthew Reed and Christian Vesper for Sundance Channel.
Shooting is set to start this summer in South Africa and the U.K. for broadcast on BBC One in the U.K. and the Sundance Channel in the U.S. late this year.
Sarah Barnett, GM of Sundance Channel, called the project “a perfect addition” to Sundance’s slate of original scripted programming, which has included co-productions such as Olivier Assayas’ Golden Globe-winning Carlos (2010) and the Golden Globe-nominated Appropriate Adult (2011) featuring Emily Watson and Dominic West.
Red Arrow, the production arm of broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1, acquired Endor Productions earlier this year. ProSiebenSat.1’s distribution arm, SevenOne International, is handling sales for Restless and will present the project to buyers at the upcoming MIPCOM in Cannes in October.
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