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Inspired by the book, the series revolves around a devout detective whose faith is tested as he investigates a brutal murder that seems to be connected to an esteemed Utah family’s spiral into LDS fundamentalism and their distrust in the government. Garfield will star as Pyre, an LDS elder who is committed to his church and family but begins to question some of its teachings through his contact with a suspected murderer. Edgar-Jones, who broke out with Hulu’s Normal People, will portray Brenda, a faithful Mormon who is the victim of a brutal murder.
Black, who grew up in a Mormon household and previously wrote on HBO’s Big Love, is credited as the creator of the series and will pen the scripts. He exec produces alongside Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Samie Kim Falvey and Anna Culp. Bateman (FX’s A Teacher) and his Aggregate Films collaborator Michael Costigan will exec produce for the company; David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water, Perfect Sense) and Gillian Berrie (Hell or High Water, Starred Up) will also exec produce, and is set to direct multiple episodes.
“Dustin Lance Black is a gifted storyteller and the perfect artist to adapt Jon Krakauer’s gripping novel for FX,” said Gina Balian, president of originals at FX. “Lance joins an incredible creative team led by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard at Imagine Television who have been passionate about telling this story with him for years. We are thrilled that David Mackenzie has come aboard as a director and to have Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones star in Under the Banner of Heaven.”
Added Black, who won an Oscar for writing Harvey Milk biopic Milk: “After so many years of work, I’m incredibly grateful to Imagine and FX for their patience with and commitment to bringing this story to screen. Raised in the LDS faith, my hope is that this true-crime thriller might shed light on the horrific brutalities perpetrated in the name of God in our own backyards.”
In 2011, Imagine set up Heaven as a feature film for Warner Bros. with Black attached to pen the screenplay based on the 2003 book. “We at Imagine have been dedicated to telling this powerful story for nearly a decade. With FX’s belief and support and Lance Black’s relentless commitment we are, at last, on our way. We couldn’t be more excited to be collaborating with David Mackenzie, Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones to bring this project to life,” Imagine’s Grazer and Howard said in a joint statement Thursday.
Garfield next stars in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Jonathan Larson adaptation Tick, Tick…Boom and previously earned a Tony for his role in Broadway’s Angels in America. His credits include an Oscar-nominated role in Hacksaw Ridge. He’s repped by CAA, Gordon & French in the U.K. and Sloane Offer.
Edgar-Jones starred in Hulu’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, a role which earned her a Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination. Her credits include HBO/BBC’s Gentleman Jack and War of the Worlds. She’s with UTA and Hamilton Hodell in the U.K.
Black, who previously did ABC’s When We Rise and wrote and narrated documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition, which focused on the church’s efforts to block gay marriage in California with Proposition 8, is with CAA.
Heaven will become the latest FX original to launch on its FX on Hulu hub. Heaven becomes the latest limited series picked up at FX, joining Kate Mara and Brian Tyree Henry vehicle Class of ’09.
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