Martin Freeman is set to take on a new detective role, starring in true-story drama “A Confession” for ITV Studios. The Emmy- and BAFTA-winning “Sherlock” star will be joined by Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning actress Imelda Staunton in the six-part drama, it was announced Monday by ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill.
Freeman will star as real-life Det. Supt. Steve Fulcher, whose decision to deliberately breach police protocol in order to catch a killer cost him his career and reputation. “A Confession” is expected to air on ITV in 2019. The news comes hot on the heels of the actor’s casting in parental comedy “Breeders” for FX, which will debut in 2020.
Created by BAFTA-winner Jeff Pope, “A Confession” follows the real-life investigation into the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman who failed to return home after a night out with girlfriends at a local nightclub in Swindon, in England, in March 2011.
Staunton, who won a BAFTA and was Oscar-nominated for her lead role in 2005’s “Vera Drake,” will play a woman who fears her daughter, who disappeared eight years earlier, might be involved in the new case. Charlie Cooper, Siobhan Finneran and Joe Absolom co-star.
“I found this is a fascinating story to tell on a number of levels,” said Pope. “On one hand it is a brilliant piece of detective work, but it brings into question how we want our police to behave when someone goes missing. Should Fulcher have been praised as a courageous officer fighting for the life of a girl, or lose his career for riding roughshod over the law?”
Paul Andrew Williams will direct the entire series, which is a co-production between ITV Studios and Urban Myth Films. Pope will serve as executive producer for ITV Studios alongside Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy for Urban Myth. Tom Dunbar serves as producer.
Pope won a BAFTA and was Oscar-nominated, alongside Steve Coogan, for his screenplay to 2013’s “Philomena.” His latest film, Laurel and Hardy biopic “Stan & Ollie,” which stars Coogan and John C. Reilly, will receive its world premiere as the closing night film of this year’s BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 21.
International distribution for “A Confession” will be handled by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.