Kelly Reilly, David Morrissey among the cast
Sky and Amazon US have they are joining forces for the first time to co-produce a major new ten-part drama series, Britannia.
Written by the multi-award-winning Jez Butterworth (Spectre), the series is set in 43AD Britannia – a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and powerful druids who can channel the powerful forces of the underworld.
The series, which stars Kelly Reilly (True Detective), David Morrissey (The Walking Dead), Zoë Wanamaker (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), Stanley Weber (Outlander), Hugo Speer (The Musketeers), Nikolaj Lie Kaas (The Killing), Eleanor Worthington-Cox (The Enfield Haunting) and Ian McDiarmid (Utopia).
With the Roman Imperial Army – determined and terrified in equal measure – returning to crush the Celtic heart of Britannia. Arch rivals Kerra (Reilly) and Antedia (Wanamaker) must set their differences to one side in order to combat the terrifying Roman invasion, led by the towering figure of Aulus Plautius (Morrissey) as it cuts a swathe through the Celtic resistance.
Jez Butterworth writes the series alongside Tom Butterworth (Fortitude) and Richard McBrien (Merlin). Jez commented: “Besides being hard, hard warriors, the Celts have a belief system which makes them almost invincible. It’s a deep, heavy magic. Last time the Romans tried to invade, the mighty Julius Caesar took one look, turned round and went straight home. Now, almost a century later, the Romans are back. I’m fascinated in what happens when gods die. When an entire, ancient faith stalls, topples, collapses – and a whole new one grows in its place. New names, new faces, to suit the new times. Here we have a war between two pantheons – the Roman gods v the Celtic gods. It’s the Heavyweight Clash of All Time, the one which most shapes who we are today. And we see it all from a human perspective, of individual survival, ambition, courage, lust, loss, revenge. All the stuff the gods have always loved us humans for the most!”
Kelly Reilly said: “I am thrilled to be joining the production of Britannia, a story rooted in the heart of our ancient history. Collaborating with great creative minds is what I love most about my job, and having one of Britain’s leading playwrights, Jez Butterworth, come on board to bring Celtic Britain alive has made this a fiercely exciting project. The vision is big and bold and beautiful, and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.”
David Morrissey added: “I have been a fan of Jez’s writing for a long, long time, so to get the chance to work with him on this epic tale is very exciting. His dialogue and storytelling are second to none. I am also really looking forward to working with the brilliant cast that has been assembled for Britannia – I just hope I get a nice horse!”
Britannia is a co-production with Vertigo Films (Monsters, The Sweeney) in association with Neal Street Productions (The Hollow Crown, Penny Dreadful).
Filming will begin on location in Prague and Wales and will air on Sky 1 in the UK and Ireland and be available on Amazon Prime Video in the US in 2017.