Olivia Colman to Star in Crime Drama 'Landscapers' for HBO, Sky

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Olivia Colman

The Oscar winner will take a lead role in the true-life story of convicted killers for HBO and Sky to be directed by Alexander Payne.

The Favourite and The Crown star Olivia Colman is set to topline the HBO and Sky original true-crime drama Landscapers.

The four-part limited series will be directed by Alexander Payne and explores the lives of convicted killers Christopher and Susan Edwards (Colman). The role of Christopher has yet to be cast.

Landscapers is the latest project from indie producer Sister for Sky and HBO after the Emmy award-winning series Chernobyl. Ed Sinclair, Colman's husband, wrote the screenplay, based on real events. The project will explore how a devoted and mild-mannered couple came to kill Susan’s parents in 1998 and bury them in the back garden of their home in Nottingham, England. The crime remained undiscovered for over a decade before the Edwards' convictions and jailing in 2014.

"I love Ed's scripts, which is just as well as he cooks many of my meals. No, the truth is it's quite rare to be desperate to play a part on the first reading of a script, but that was the case here," Colman said Friday in a statement. 

Part of the research process for the drama included hours of interviews and direct access to the accused couple, who have always protested their murder convictions and proclaimed their innocence.

Landscapers is set to start production next year and is also headed to Sky Atlantic and Now TV in the U.K. and Sky in Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland. NBCUniversal Global Distribution is handling international sales.

Colman is best known for her Oscar-winning role as the duck- and lobster-racing monarch Queen Anne in The Favourite, and also starred as local detective sergeant Ellie Miller opposite David Tennant on the popular U.K. crime series Broadchurch and on the AMC series The Night Manager. She also played the role of Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix's royal saga The Crown.

Landscapers is being produced by Sister in association with South of the River Pictures for Sky and HBO. Jane Featherstone, Chris Fry, Payne, Sinclair and Colman are executive producing, while Katie Carpenter is producing.