Gunpowder, a three-part thriller based on the real-life 17th century events that led to Guy Fawkes Day, will debut on HBO this December. The first episode will debut Monday, December 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), followed by the other parts the subsequent two nights, Tuesday, December 19 and Wednesday, December 20, at the same time. It is produced by Kudos (part of Endemol Shine Group) in association with Thriker Films, originally for BBC One. The show will also be available on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and affiliate portals. Here's what Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming, had to say in a statement.
"We are delighted to offer a platform for a project that is so close to Kit Harington's heart. Kit's passion for and belief in Gunpowder are evident in every frame of the miniseries."
Kit Harington (HBO's Game of Thrones), Peter Mullan (Cinemax's Quarry), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Liv Tyler (HBO's The Leftovers) star in the miniseries, which is written by Ronan Bennett (Top Boy), directed by J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed). Harington, who is also a co-executive producer on the show, has a personal connection to the real-life source of Gunpowder. The actor is a descendant of Robert Catesby, the central figure in the story, and plays him in the show. Kit Harington was recently promoting the mini-series with his co-star Liv Tyler in the U.K., when he revealed an epic Game of Thrones prank on his fiancee, Rose Leslie. Here's what the actor had to say about this project in a statement.
"Three years ago, Daniel West and I conceived and began developing Gunpowder with Kudos and Ronan Bennett. We are now thrilled to share this unique story with the U.S. audience. I can't think of a better place to do that than my home at HBO."
Originally commissioned by BBC One in the U.K., Gunpowder stars Kit Harington as Robert Catesby, who was the driving force behind the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 London. A committed Catholic at a time when Protestant England persecutes Catholics relentlessly, Catesby's refusal to abandon his religion brings him to the edge of financial, social and psychological ruin. Mark Gatiss (who played Tycho Nestoris in Game of Thrones Season 7) plays Robert Cecil, King James' spymaster, who directs efforts to hunt down, torture and kill priests, while rank-and-file Catholics are subject to oppression and the loss of their property. Here's what Cathy Payne, chief executive, Endemol Shine International, had to say in her statement.
"We are thrilled that HBO has come on board as our U.S. partner for this outstanding miniseries. It is a testament to the producers Kudos and Thriker Films and the amazing cast."
Gunpowder chronicles the evolution of the plot, the selection of collaborators to carry it out, the gathering of resources and the obstacles to its execution, even as Catesby's team plays a deadly cat and mouse game with Cecil's ruthless spy network. Here's what Diederick Santer, CEO of Kudos, said in his statement.
"Gunpowder is an explosive tale that has been hugely popular with BBC One audiences in the U.K. HBO is the ideal partner to bring this premium miniseries to viewers in the U.S., and with a magnificent cast and script, we expect the drama to be unmissable viewing stateside."
Peter Mullan portrays head Jesuit Father Garnet, whose peaceful protestations have little effect on Catesby. Liv Tyler, who returns to HBO after starring in The Leftovers, plays Catesby's astute and capable cousin, Anne Vaux, who becomes suspicious about his activities and fears the consequences will be the exact opposite of what Catesby intends. Also starring in Gunpowder are Edward Holcroft (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Shaun Dooley (Broadchurch), Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey), Robert Emms (War Horse), Derek Riddell (The Missing), Sian Webber (EastEnders), David Bamber (HBO's Rome) and Kevin Eldon (HBO's Game of Thrones).
Produced by Kudos, part of Endemol Shine Group, in association with Thriker Films for BBC One, Gunpowder is executive produced by Ollie Madden for Kudos, Matthew Read for the BBC and Ronan Bennett; Kit Harington and Daniel West are co-executive producers for Thriker Films; Laurie Borg is producer; directed by J Blakeson; written by Ronan Bennett. Endemol Shine International distributes the series internationally. The deal with HBO was struck by Matt Creasey, executive vice president, Sales & Acquisitions, Endemol Shine International.