Sundance Channel has picked up The Honourable Woman, a miniseries to star Maggie Gyllenhaal. The eight-part mini, originally commissioned by U.K.’s BBC Two last year, will be done as a co-production with BBC Worldwide, North America. Written and directed by BAFTA winner Hugo Blick (The Shadow Line),  Honourable Woman is described as a fast-paced, labyrinthine thriller set against an international political backdrop that carries Blick’s distinctive rhythmic style and vision. It centers on Nessa Stein’s (Gyllenhaal) whose father was a Zionist arms procurer, and as children, she and her brother witness his assassination. As an adult, inheriting her father’s company, she dramatically inverts its purpose from supplying arms to laying high-spec data cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank. Her sudden appointment to the House of Lords, apparently due to her tireless promotion of projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians, creates an international political maelstrom.

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The Honourable Woman is scintillating drama: it is both a tightly plotted international political thriller and a superbly wrought character piece about hope, compromise, guilt and families,” said Sundance Channel President, Sarah Barnett. Added Gyllenhaal, “I couldn’t put the scripts down. Nessa is such an exciting and intricate character.” Set in the UK, the Middle East and America, the mini will film on location from mid July, and will broadcast on Sundance Channel in the US and BBC Two in the UK in 2014. It is exec produced by Hugo Blick for Eight Rooks Prods. and Greg Brenman for Drama Republic. Abi Bach (Small Island) produces. BBC Worldwide holds international distribution rights. This marks the latest high-profile original scripted project for Sundance, which recently renewed its drama Rectify and is currently casting its newest original series, The Descendants. WME-repped Gyllenhaal co-stars in White House Down, which opens tomorrow.

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