Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory has been set as the lead in ITV’s six-part contemporary drama, Fearless. Witten and exec produced by Homeland‘s Patrick Harbinson, it’s billed as a legal thriller that’s “set in the crash zone where law and politics collide.” Mammoth Screen (Victoria, Poldark) is producing for ITV. BAFTA-winner Pete Travis (The Go-Between, Legacy) is directing. Shooting starts in September.
McCrory will play Emma Blunt, a solicitor known for defending lost causes. She’s investigating the killing of a schoolgirl in East Anglia and trying to free the man she thinks was wrongly convicted of the murder. As she digs deeper into the case, Emma begins to sense powerful forces, in the police and the intelligence services at home and abroad, who want to stop her uncovering the truth.
Harbinson, whose credits also inlcude 24 and Person Of Interest, says, “Much of the work I’ve done in America in the last 10 years has been about life in the post 9/11 (and post 7/7) world. The so-called War on Terror has put serious stress on the ordinary workings of the law. National security justifies all sorts of police and state over-reach — and the great majority of us are prepared to accept this. So I wanted to create a character who challenges these assumptions, who fights for those outside the normal run of society, and who is uncompromising, difficult and completely indifferent to unpopularity and danger.”
McCrory and Harbinson have a history as she is married to former Homeland star Damian Lewis. She has recently been on stage in The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre and will reprise her role as Aunt Polly in BBC Two hit Peaky Blinders when Season 4 starts shooting next year. Taking on Fearless is a significant step in the TV space for the discerning stage and film actress who also appeared on Penny Dreadful for one season.
She says, “When I was at drama school, I was inspired by Prime Suspect, watching as Britain led the way in creating strong female characters to lead their dramas.” She calls Fearless “a thriller that starts deceptively small, then begins crossing borders to different cultures and continents.”
Producer is Adrian Sturges (Houdini And Doyle, The Enfield Haunting) with Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer, Tom Mullens and Harbinson exec producing. ITV Studios Global Entertainment is handling international distribution. McCrory is repped by Independent Talent Group and UTA.