This should be solid!
John Ridley will write, direct and executive produce "Guerrilla," a new 6-part miniseries set to air on the Sky Atlantic network (in the UK) that centers on a couple whose passion propels them into making the leap from political activism to radical militancy. For those in the USA, the Showtime cable TV network will air the series, which is obviously great!
Idris Elba will co-star and serve as an executive producer through his Green Door Pictures. Ridley will write the majority of the episodes and will direct the first two.
The Sky press release describes "Guerrilla" as a love story set against the backdrop of one of the most politically explosive times in UK history. It tells the story of a politically active couple whose relationship and values are tested when they liberate a political prisoner and form a radical underground cell in 1970s London. Their ultimate target becomes the Black Power Desk, a real-life, secretive counter-intelligence unit dedicated to crushing all forms of black activism.
While the series is set against a background of social and political activism, at its heart "Guerrilla" is about a relationship under pressure, and the reality that for any couple, there comes a point when the choices they make have real and lasting consequences.
Idris Elba said: “It’s been a long-time desire of mine to collaborate with Mr Ridley and his work here is nothing short of a masterclass in character building and storytelling. TV is in for a treat.”
John Ridley said: " I am both humbled by and impressed with Idris’s passion towards bringing this story to life. I share his commitment for populating the culture with driven and complicated people of color, and believe we have great partners on the producorial level, and with our broadcasters Sky Atlantic and Showtime.”
Anne Mensah, Head of Drama for Sky, said: “Rarely does a project pitch the personal and the political in such a flawless combination. ‘Guerrilla’ presents characters you will fall in love with but also a world and a part of black British history that is rarely tackled in such a bold and compelling manner. We are so excited to add it to our slate of new dramas.”
David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc, said, “We’re excited to partner with our friends at Sky to bring a fascinating and unexplored story spearheaded by John and Idris, two major creative talents at the top of their game. ‘Guerrilla’ will surely keep our audience at their edge of their seats.”
‘Guerrilla’ is part of Sky’s commitment to offer customers brand new original drama all year round. Commissioned for Sky by head of drama Anne Mensah, commissioning editor Cameron Roach and director of Sky Atlantic Zai Bennett, the series will be a co-production between Fifty Fathoms and ABC Signature. Alongside John Ridley for his International Famous Players Radio Picture Corporation, the executive producers will be Patrick Spence and Katie Swinden for Fifty Fathoms (Fortitude, Marvellous), Tracy Underwood for ABC Signature, Idris Elba for Green Door Pictures and Michael McDonald for Stearns Castle.
Production is set for late summer 2016 in London.
It’s great to see Elba taking full control of his career, instead of waiting for Hollywood (or whomever) to lend him a hand. A number of the films and TV series he’s starred in – especially the strongest work like "Luther" and "Beasts of No Nation" – were also produced/exec produced by him. In other words, he’s packaging projects for himself.