Paapa Essiedu, a breakout star of BBC/HBO series I May Destroy You, is to headline a Sky action thriller that uses a similar narrative device to Groundhog Day and is written by Joe Barton, the newly-unveiled showrunner on HBO Max’s The Batman.
Eight-part Extinction follows the story of George (Essiedu), who begins to re-live time after witnessing the world end. He is recruited into an organization that harnesses this power to prevent global catastrophes, but goes rogue in a bid to save the woman he loves. It’s billed as a gripping exploration of memory, fate, and the limits of love.
Produced by War Of The Worlds maker Urban Myth Films, the series also features Tom Burke (Strike), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard), and Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly). Marco Kreuzpaintner, the director of Amazon’s Beat, is attached to direct.
Extinction is slated for 2022 and was announced on Monday as one of 125 new Sky originals, as the Comcast-owned pay-TV operator edges closer to its target of spending £1 billion ($1.4B) a year on content by 2024. The 125 series, films, and documentaries are up 50% on last year, when Sky premiered shows including Gangs Of London.
Extinction is executive produced by Baton, whose credits include Giri/Haji, and Urban Myth’s Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy. Urban Myth is producing in association with Sky Studios, while Adam Knopf is the producer.
Elsewhere on the Sky drama series slate, the broadcaster confirmed two shows previously revealed by Deadline: A modern adaptation of John Wyndham’s sci-fi novel The Midwich Cuckoos from The Night Manager writer David Farr; and crime drama Wolfe from Shameless creator Paul Abbott. The latter stars Guerilla and Rogue One actor Babou Ceesay.
Sky also announced a new comedy-drama from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Breeders producer Avalon. Safe Space stars Taskmaster host Greg Davies as a psychotherapist in a small market town in England, who has a hidden agenda to control his patients.
The eight-part series, slated for 2022, is written by Davies and Stephen Morrison. Executive producers are Davies, James Taylor, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner, and Toby Welch.
Essiedu is repped by ICM Partners and Curtis Brown. Barton is repped by ICM Partners, Independent Talent, and Grandview.