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Josh Hartnett (The Faculty, Black Hawk Down) has officially signed on for the leading role in Sky’s upcoming limited series adaptation of The Fear Index, based on author Robert Harris’ 2011 best-selling novel of the same name. It will also star Leila Farzad (I Hate Suzie), Arsher Ali (The Ritual), and Grégory Montel (Call My Agent). The project hails from The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures and Sky Studios and is expected to begin filming in Hungary sometime this month.
“Paul and Caroline’s scripts offer a relentlessly gripping take on a chilling Frankenstein parable of our times, and we are delighted to be working with Left Bank and the incredible cast led by Josh Hartnett to bring Robert Harris’s thrilling story to Sky viewers later this year.” Sky Studios’ director of commissioning drama Gabriel Silver said in a statement (via Variety).
This marks Hartnett’s latest TV project as the lead after he starred in last year’s now-canceled Spectrum series Paradise Lost and Showtime’s acclaimed horror drama Penny Dreadful which only lasted for three seasons from 2014-2016.
The Fear Index is a four-part thriller that will be set during the period of 24 hours of May 6, 2010, the date of the British general election and the 36-minute trillion-dollar stock market crash that was dubbed as Flash Crash. Hartnett is set to portray the role of a computer scientist and genius named Dr. Alex Hoffman, who is about to make billions from an AI-driven system that exploits fear in the financial markets.
However, his plans don’t go as smoothly as he was hoping for, as on the day of the launch, he is viciously attacked at his home by a man who knows all of his security codes. Because of this, he is forced to question everything he sees and becomes convinced that he’s being framed.
David Caffrey will direct the miniseries from a screenplay adapted by Paul Andrew Williams and Caroline Bartleet. It is expected to make its debut later this year on Sky Atlantic and the streamer NOW.
The Fear Index was commissioned by Sky U.K. and Ireland’s managing director Zai Bennett, managing director of content and Sky Studios’ Paul Gilbert. It will be executive produced by Gilbert, Left Bank’s Andy Harries and Sharon Hughff, with Nuala O’Leary set as a producer.