The Matrix and CSI star Laurence Fishburne is to star in and exec produce Sony’s anthology UFO drama series Rendlesham.

The series, which is a co-production between Sony Pictures Television and Eleventh Hour Films, the UK indie that the Hollywood studio owns a stake in, is an eight-part drama is inspired by a “real-life” UFO incident, which took place at a US air base close to the village of Rendlesham, Suffolk in 1980.

Several people in the village’s small forest including a number of air force servicemen claimed to witness a glowing object in the sky before it flew off into the trees. The sighting was recorded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt in an official report that was made public in 1983 but was subsequently rubbished by other officers, leading to many conspiracy theories.

Written by Doctor Who director and Da Vinci’s Demons writer Joe Ahearne, the series, which will revolve around a family in the area, is played out against the Cold War. It will feature dual timelines, one during the time of the sightings in 1980 and one in 2020, the anniversary of the event.

Fishburne plays the lead role of Tyrone, a retired American airman previously stationed at the infamous US air base during the height of the Cold War. Alongside wife Carol and son Brock, Tyrone returns for the first time to visit Carol’s dying father and is forced to face events that have haunted him his whole life.

Fishburne will executive produce alongside his Cinema Gypsy Productions and producing partner Helen Sugland.  Eve Gutierrez and Jill Green will serve as executive producers alongside Ahearne. SPT will handle distribution internationally.

“I’m beyond thrilled this phenomenal and iconic actor will be leading Rendlesham as Tyrone and facing down one of the most notorious UFO mysteries in history,” said Ahearne.

Fishburne, who was last seen in Marvel’s Ant Man and The Wasp and is to reprise his role as the Bowey King in John Wick 3, is represented by Paradigm, Landmark Artists and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.