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Kit Harington knows a thing or two about quality television projects. After all, he’s been stealing the hearts of viewers as the brooding Jon Snow on HBO’s Game of Thrones for the past six seasons. Now, according to Deadline, the English actor is prepared to blow the doors off of another dark thriller. BBC One’s three-part Gunpowder follows the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In addition to his role in development, Harington will star and executive produce, joined onscreen by Liv Tyler and Mark Gatiss. The script is courtesy of Ronan Bennett who also co-developed.
The Gunpowder Plot was an attempt by English provincials to depose King James I, and the overall Protestant rule of England, and replace him with a Catholic. The plot took its name from its intended methodology – detonating gunpowder in the House of Lords and blowing the monarch to smithereens. It spawned the legacy of Guy Fawkes, often associated with anarchy and protest against tyranny, who is still burned in effigy every November. However, despite the name recognition, Harington will not be portraying Fawkes.
Instead, Harington will play Robert Catesby, the mastermind behind the plan. In an intriguing spin on the casting, Harington is actually Catesby’s descendant. Tyler will be portraying Catesby cousin Anne Vaux, an unwilling accessory to the plot whose houses were used as locations to conspire. Gatiss, a Sherlock alum, will fill the role of Robert Cecil, James I menacing spymaster whose role also involves murdering priests.
The Gunpowder Plot has long been a matter of discussion for BBC, having been adapted into numerous radio plays and documentaries. The series will be directed by J Blakeson, fresh off high grossing film The 5th Wave, and produced by Laurie Bourg. Ollie Madden, Stephen Wright, Daniel West, and Harington will serve as executive producers.
Stay tuned with mxdwn for more information regarding Gunpowder and other pilot orders.