Dubbed an “Irish noir,” Nesbitt will play Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick who connects a suicide note with an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance. The discovery sparks an explosive hunt for a legendary assassin.
HMT Television was set up in 2015 and is co-owned by Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions, the Jimmy Mulville-run indie behind shows including Have I Got News For You and Matt LeBlanc’s Golden Globe-winning Episodes.
Mercurio, Mulville and Mark Redhead are the executive producers for HTM, while Tommy Bulfin will executive produce for the BBC. Bloodlands was commissioned by BBC drama chief Piers Wenger and director of content Charlotte Moore. Pete Travis (Omagh, The Go-Between) is the director and Christopher Hall (The Durrells) is producing. Filming will take place in and around Belfast and Strangford Lough.
Mercurio said: “It’s been incredibly rewarding to discover Chris Brandon’s work and to witness the development of an outstanding new voice in contemporary television thriller writing, added to which everyone at HTM Television is honored an actor of James Nesbitt’s brilliance will star in our debut production.”
Mulville said that “the ‘Irish noir’ genre has arrived,” while Wenger described Bloodlands as a “visceral story” that “manages to be both completely gripping while shining a light on to the legacy of the troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland.”