ROME — Showtime-Sky miniseries “Guerrilla,” which is set against a backdrop of 1970s radicalism in London, has announced four new cast members set to star alongside Idris Elba and Freida Pinto, just as shooting is scheduled to start this week.
Babou Ceesay (“Getting On”) will play political activist Marcus, whose partner Jas is being played by Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”); Rory Kinnear (“Penny Dreadful”) and Daniel Mays (“Line of Duty”) will play Pence and Cullen, two cops “assigned to a secret Special Branch unit that targets black activists,” according to a Sky statement; and Zawe Ashton (“Fresh Meat”) will play Omega “who views herself as a leader within the black community.”
The six-episode drama is being written, directed and executive produced by “American Crime” creator John Ridley, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”
Ridley has writing duties on most of the “Guerrilla” episodes, and will direct the first two and the finale, with Sam Miller taking on the other episodes.
“Guerrilla” is being described as a love story set in one of the most explosive political times in U.K. history. It turns on a 1970s London couple who liberates a political prisoner and forms a radical underground cell. The group targets the Black Power Desk, a true-life counter-intelligence unit within Special Branch dedicated to crushing all forms of black activism. Though set against a backdrop of social upheaval and activism, the story focuses on the relationship between the two characters at its center: Jas, played by Pinto, and Marcus, played by Ceesay.
Elba will play a character named Kent “dedicated to the cause of achieving equality for black people in Britain,” a Sky publicist said.
Elba is serving as executive producer through his Green Door Pictures with Ridley. Patrick Spence and Katie Swinden of Fifty Fathoms, Tracy Underwood of ABC Signature and Michael McDonald of Stearns Castle are also executive producing.
“Guerrilla,” which is being co-produced by Fifty Fathoms and ABC Signature, will be broadcast in the U.S. on Showtime and in the U.K. on Sky Atlantic.