Timothy Spall has been cast in the starring role of an episode of the upcoming Amazon anthology series “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams,” Variety has learned. Spall is known to American audiences for playing Peter Pettigrew in the “Harry Potter” films as well as Winston Churchill in “The King’s Speech.”
The 10-episode sci-fi series is based on the short stories of Philip K. Dick. Spall will star in the first episode to be filmed, “The Commuter.” He will play Ed Jacobson, an unassuming employee at a train station who is alarmed to discover that a number of daily commuters are taking the train to a town that shouldn’t exist. When he investigates for himself, he comes face to face with an alternate reality that forces him to confront his own struggles around his relationship with his wife Mary (Rebecca Manley) and his very troubled son Sam (Anthony Boyle.)
The episode is based on Dick’s short story of the same name and is written by Jack Thorne. Tom Harper will direct. Rudi Dharmalingham, Tuppence Middleton, Anne Reid, Ann Akin, Hayley Squires, Tom Brooke, Nicole Agada, Marko Leht, Matthew Raymond and Naveed Khan will also appear in the episode.
Both British and American writers are working on adapting Dick’s work for the small screen, including Thorne, Ronald D. Moore, Michael Dinner, Tony Grisoni, Matthew Graham, David Farr, Dee Rees, and Travis Beacham. Each episode will be a stand-alone narrative in the vein of “Black Mirror.” Bryan Cranston serves as an executive producer on the series. He also currently appears in and executive produces the series “Sneaky Pete” for Amazon, which stars Giovanni Ribisi as a con man who assumes the identity of his former prison cell mate.
This is the second Dick project at Amazon, with the first being “The Man in the High Castle,” which recently released its second season. Shortly after the release, Amazon announced they were renewing the show for a third season.
Commissioned by Channel 4, who will air the series later this year in the for U.K. and by Amazon for the U.S., Moore and Maril Davis of Tall Ship Productions and Dinner of Rooney McP Productions are executive producing alongside Cranston and James Degus of Moonshot Entertainment, Isa Dick Hackett, Kalen Egan and Christopher Tricarico of Electric Shepherd Productions, David Kanter and Matt DeRoss of Anonymous Content Entertainment, Lila Rawlings and Marigo Kehoe of Left Bank Pictures, Don Kurt and Kate DiMento in association with Sony Pictures Television.