Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Amazon and Sky Team for Period Drama 'Britannia' Starring Kelly Reilly

Amazon has teamed with British broadcaster Sky to co-produce the new period drama Britannia created by Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow, Spectre). Production on the 10-episode season will begin in Prague and Wales later this year for a 2017 debut.

Britannia is set in 43AD at the start of the eventually successful Roman invasion of Britain, ordered by Emperor Claudius. Determined and terrified in equal measure, the Roman Imperial Army return to crush the Celtic heart of what was then Britannia, a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and powerful druids rumored to be able to channel powerful forces of the underworld. The conquest would eventually lead to the rise of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni tribe, who led an uprising against the Romans and would become an icon in British history.

The drama will star Kelly Reilly (True Detective), David Morrissey (The Walking Dead), Zoe Wanamaker (My Family) and Stanley Weber (Outlander).

The series was commissioned by Roy Price at Amazon Studios and Anne Mensah, Cameron Roach and Adam MacDonald at Sky. Executive producers include James Richardson, Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown and Anne Thomopoulos. Jez Butterworth, Tom Butterworth and Richard McBrien will serve as writers.

"Besides being hard, hard warriors, the Celts have a belief system which makes them almost invincible. It's a deep, heavy magic," said Jez Butterworth. "Last time the Romans tried to invade, the mighty Julius Caesar took one look, turned round and went straight home. Now, almost a century later, the Romans are back. Here we have a war between two pantheons - the Roman gods v. the Celtic gods. It's the heavyweight clash of all time, the one which most shapes who we are today."

Mensah added, "Jez Buterworth has written an incredible drama that is entertaining and emotional but also asks important questions about what drives men and women to stand and fight. This is a battle for the heart of Britain like you've never seen before."