×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon, Sky Team on Jez Butterworth’s ‘Britannia,’ Starring Kelly Reilly

Series is set in 43 AD as the Romans seek to crush the Celts in Britain

Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and European pay-TV company Sky are partnering on a major original drama series, “Britannia,” the first co-production between the companies. The 10-part series has been written by Jez Butterworth, whose stage play “Jerusalem” won a Tony for Mark Rylance, and whose movie credits include “Spectre,” Johnny Depp’s “Black Mass” and Tom Cruise’s “Edge of Tomorrow.”

The series will star Kelly Reilly (“True Detective,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Bastille Day”), David Morrissey (“The Walking Dead,” “The Hollow Crown”), Zoe Wanamaker (“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” “My Family”) and Stanley Weber (“Outlander”).

The show is set in AD 43 “as the Roman imperial army returns to crush the Celtic heart of Britannia — a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and powerful druids who can channel the powerful forces of the underworld,” according to a press statement. “Arch-rivals Kerra (Reilly) and Antedia (Wanamaker) must set their differences to one side in order to combat the terrifying Roman invasion, led by the towering figure of Aulus Plautius (Morrissey), as it cuts a swath through the Celtic resistance.”

Butterworth said: “Besides being hard, hard warriors, the Celts have a belief system which makes them almost invincible. It’s a deep, heavy magic. 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.”

He added: “Here we have a war between two pantheons — the Roman gods vs. the Celtic gods….And we see it all from a human perspective, of individual survival, ambition, courage, lust, loss, revenge.”

“Britannia” is shooting on location in Prague and Wales, and will air on Sky 1 in the U.K. and Ireland, and be available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. next year. The international distribution rights (excluding the U.S.) for “Britannia” will be handled by Sky Vision.

Vertigo Films’ James Richardson (“Monsters,” “Bronson”) will executive produce with Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown from Neal Street Productions (“Penny Dreadful,” “Call the Midwife”), and Anne Thomopoulos (“Rome,” “Band of Brothers”). It will be produced by former “Star Wars” producer Rick McCallum; Jez and Tom Butterworth (“Fortitude,” “Tin Star”) will lead as writers with Richard McBrien (“Spooks,” “Merlin”).

“Britannia” was commissioned by Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah, commissioning editor Cameron Roach, and director of Sky 1, Adam MacDonald, alongside Roy Price, vice president, Digital Video and Amazon Studios.

“Britannia” joins 12 original drama series already on air or set to air over the next couple of years on Sky’s premium drama channel Sky Atlantic and general entertainment channel Sky 1, including “The Young Pope,” “Guerrilla,” “Tin Star,” “Jamestown” and “The Last Dragonslayer,” as well as returning series including “Fortitude” and “Agatha Raisin.”

In the U.S., “Britannia” adds to a growing roster of Amazon original drama series, including “The Man in the High Castle,” “Bosch” and “Hand of God,” as well as upcoming series “Goliath,” “Good Girls Revolt,” “Sneaky Pete” and “Patriot.”

Kelly Reilly is repped by ICM Partners and Troika.

More TV

  • THE ENEMY WITHIN -- "Pilot" Episode

    Jennifer Carpenter on Treating 'The Enemy Within' Character as 'Life After Death'

    After spending eight seasons on a premium cable drama (Showtime’s “Dexter”) and one on a broadcast procedural (CBS’ “Limitless”), Jennifer Carpenter is placing her bets back on broadcast. She stars as former CIA agent Erica Shepherd, who gave up classified information to some very bad people in order to keep her daughter safe, in the [...]

  • Firefly Lane Kristin Hannah

    Netflix to Adapt Author Kristin Hannah's 'Firefly Lane' Into Series

    Netflix has put out a straight-to-series order for 10 episodes of “Firefly Lane,” Variety has learned. Based on the novel of the same name by New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah, the show will revolve around Kate and Tully, two women who meet as young girls and become inseparable best friends through 30 years [...]

  • Amy Smart Avengers of Justice Farce

    Amy Smart Among Four to Join DC Universe Series 'Stargirl'

    The upcoming DC Universe series “Stargirl” has rounded out its main cast. Amy Smart, Neil Jackson, Hunter Sansone and Trae Romano have all joined the show in series regular roles, Variety has learned. Smart will play Barbara Whitmore, the mother of Courtney Whitmore, a.k.a Stargirl. Now that her teenage daughter Courtney (Brec Bassinger) is older, Barbara [...]

  • "Rockets, Communists, and the Dewey Decimal

    'Young Sheldon' Renewed for Seasons 3 and 4 at CBS

    “Young Sheldon” has scored an early renewal for a third and fourth season at CBS, the broadcaster announced Friday. The single-camera comedy series serves as a prequel to the hit multi-cam sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” It follows 10-year old Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) as he struggles to fit in with his family and classmates [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    Ryan Murphy Sets 'Hollywood' as Next Netflix Series

    Ryan Murphy has announced that his third Netflix series will be titled “Hollywood.” Murphy described the show as “A love letter to the Golden Age of Tinseltown” in a post on Instagram. The project has received a straight-to-series order at the streamer. Murphy co-created the series with Ian Brennan. The exact nature of the plot [...]

  • Natalie Dormer

    Natalie Dormer Joins 'Penny Dreadful: City of Angels' at Showtime

    Natalie Dormer has been cast in upcoming drama series “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” in a lead role, Variety has learned. Described as a spiritual descendant of the original “Penny Dreadful,” the new series opens in 1938 Los Angeles. When a grisly murder shocks the city, Detective Tiago Vega is embroiled in a story that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content