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The Missing has found its new cast.
Former The Walking Dead star David Morrissey and Keeley Hawes (The Casual Vacancy) are set to headline the new installment of the limited series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Similar to such anthology series as American Horror Story, the second season of The Missing will focus on an entirely new case and new characters in a new location. This time around, Morrissey and Hawes play a couple whose daughter, Alice, went missing in 2003. In 2014, a young British woman stumbles through the streets of her German hometown and collapses. Her name is Alice Webster, played by newcomer Abigail Hardingham (Nina Forever), and she has been missing for 11 years. Alice’s return sends shockwaves through the small community. Told in dual timelines, flitting between 2014 and the present day, the episodes follow Alice’s family as they are thrown back into a turmoil that threatens to tear them apart at the seams. When French missing-persons detective Julien Baptiste, played by Tcheky Karyo (The Patriot), races across Europe to pursue a 12-year-old case that he never let die, the series then explores the murky morality and emotional complexity of what happens when the missing child you’ve been longing to return actually comes back.
In addition to Morrissey, Hawes and Karyo, Roger Allam (Endeavour), Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad), Anastasia Hille (Snow White and the Huntsman), Lia Williams (The Crown), Abigail Hardingham, Jake Davies (X + Y), Florian Bartholomai (Deutschland 83) and Daniel Ezra (Murdered by My Boyfriend) join the cast for season two, which Starz first ordered in late 2014.
Harry and Jack Williams, who penned the entire first season of the acclaimed BBC and Starz series, are behind the new eight episodes as well, with Ben Chanan (The Last Kingdom) attached to direct.
“While we were writing the first series, we began talking about what the show would have been had Oliver Hughes been found,” the Williams brothers said in reference to the first season’s story. “This story grew out of that discussion. It’s the other side of the coin to [season one] — an exploration of loss, of freedom, of how the past can shape the present in myriad ways that we cannot fully understand. It’s bigger, more ambitious, and we’re delighted to have such a brilliantly talented cast joining Julien Baptiste for a new case.”
The Williams brothers will exec produce for Two Brothers Pictures alongside Willow Grylls, Charlie Pattinson and Elaine Pyke for New Pictures, Polly Hill for the BBC, Colin Callender for Playground, Eurydice Gysel for Czar TV and Jan Vrints. Julian Stevens is attached to produce.
The Missing is produced by New Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures, co-produced with Czar TV, VRT and BNP Paribas Fortis Film Finance. The second season will be broadcast on BBC One in the U.K. and Starz in the U.S. All3media International handles overseas sales for the show. The Missing has sold into over 170 territories to date.
“The success of series one and response from the audience was incredible, and I am extremely excited for what the second series holds. Harry and Jack Williams have delivered compelling original scripts yet again, this time with a completely new case from a different perspective,” said Polly Hill, controller, BBC Drama Commissioning. “David Morrissey and Keeley Hawes are two of the finest actors in the country and we are thrilled to have them on board.”
Added Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik: “The talented Williams brothers take us on a thrilling journey in this next installment with a new story, characters and locations that ultimately explores what happens when the missing child you’ve been searching for comes home. We are thrilled to continue this limited series and collaboration with the BBC, New Pictures and Playground.”
The Missing was a critical darling in its first season, earning four BAFTA award nominations, two Golden Globes and an Emmy. Starz has made a bigger play with voters in recent years, thanks to recent series such as Outlander and Blunt Talk.
The Missing is one of several collaborations between Starz and Colin Callender, who also exec produces the Anthony Hopkins-Ian McKellan film The Dresser and The White Princess. Since The Missing premiered in 2014, anthology series have become even more popular with awards players such as ABC’s American Crime and the buzzy new FX drama American Crime Story entering the field previously occupied by AHS and Fargo.
For Morrissey, who memorably played the Governor on The Walking Dead, this casting follows his recurring role on the second season of CBS’ Extant. He is repped by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment.
Production has begun in Belgium on the eight-part series.
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