Anna Friel to Star in Crime
Courtesy of ITV

Anna Friel at the 'Marcella' read-through in London

LONDON — Anna Friel and “Downton Abbey’s” Laura Carmichael are to star in crime drama “Marcella,” written by “The Bridge” scribe Hans Rosenfeldt. ITV has greenlit the show.

The eight-part series will also star Nicholas Pinnock (“Fortitude,” “Captain America”), Ian Puleston-Davies (“Coronation Street,” “Being Human”), Nina Sosanya (“W1A,” “Last Tango in Halifax”), Ray Panthaki (“Convenience”), Jamie Bamber (“Law & Order: UK,” “Battlestar Galactica”), Patrick Baladi (“The Office,” “Mistresses”), and Harry Lloyd (“Game of Thrones,” “The Theory of Everything”).

“Marcella,” which is set in contemporary London with a police detective at its heart, is produced by Buccaneer Media and co-created by Rosenfeldt and Nicola Larder (Sky’s development executive on “The Tunnel” and “Dracula”). It is Rosenfeldt’s first exclusively created drama for the U.K. audience following “The Bridge,” a Swedish/Danish co-production which achieved critical acclaim when it began broadcasting in the U.K. in 2014.

The multi-layered noir thriller will lead the audience through a “narrative maze” where any character could be a witness, victim or potential suspect, ITV said. Marcella will get involved in a serial murder case where the modus operandi of the killer bears a striking resemblance to an unsolved spate of killings from a decade ago.

Ten years previously Marcella (Friel) gave up her fast-tracked police career to marry Jason (Pinnock), and devote her life to her family. Marcella is shocked when her husband leaves her unexpectedly, saying he no longer loves her. Heartbroken, she returns to her old job on the police murder squad. With the abrupt end to her marriage and isolated from her 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, Marcella throws herself into work to stop herself from falling apart.

Marcella wants back in on the serial-killer case she first worked on 10 years ago. She’s got a hunch she wants to follow up on, a hunch she couldn’t follow through with due to falling pregnant with a second child. Has the killer re-appeared or is a copycat murderer responsible for these recent deaths? How will Marcella cope returning to duties when her own temperament is so fragile and vulnerable? Will throwing herself into her work provide the answers she’s seeking? Or lead her dangerously into territory she must evade at all cost?

Suspicious of her husband’s motives for leaving her, Marcella finds herself playing detective away from work, but will her findings lead her to further heartbreak?

Marcella will be executive produced by Rosenfeldt, Larder and Buccaneer’s founder Tony Wood, who created the joint-venture production company in partnership with Cineflix Media. The director is Charles Martin (“New Worlds,” “Skins,” “The Returned”) and Andrew Woodhead (“Fortitude,” “Spooks,” “Law & Order: UK”) is producer. The second director is Jonathan Teplitzky, whose directing credits include “Broadchurch,” and the movies “Burning Man” and “The Railway Man.” Henrik Georgsson (“The Bridge,” “Wallander”) will also direct.

Filming will start in London and surrounding areas from this month.

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