BSkyB’s ‘Sinbad’ toplines tyro thesp

Elliot Knight takes lede in $27 mil skein

LONDON — Tyro actor Elliot Knight, a 20-year-old wannabe who graduates from drama school this summer, will lead the cast of BSkyB’s big-budget take on the Sinbad myth.

He plays the eponymous role in the 13-part “Sinbad,” budgeted at an estimated £17 million ($27 million) and now being filmed in Malta for screening in 2012.

Also on board are “Lost’s” Naveen Andrews, who plays Sinbad’s nemesis, Lord Akbari, Sophie Okonedo cast as Razia, Queen of the Water-Thieves, and Timothy Spall as Anicetus, The Old Man of the Sea.

Sinbad’s grandmother is played by Janet Suzman.

Also featured are Elliot Cowan as taciturn Norwegian sailor Gunnar, Marama Corlett as agile jewel-thief Rina, and Estella Daniels playing the aristocratic Nala.

“Sinbad” is an Impossible Pictures production for BSkyB and BBC Worldwide, and Oz’s Nine Network.

BBC Worldwide hold international rights.

Series, which is BSkyB’s most expensive drama to date, is produced by Grainne Marmion and helmed by Andy Wilson.