The twin projects based on the life of British-naturalised Russian defector Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko, who was allegedly killed by radiation poisoning the Russian government, now have American homes. The Benedict Cumberbatch starrer, Londongrad, had one from the initial announcement, with HBO working with Orwell Productions. Despite the Discovery+ merger turbulence and overseas production shutdowns, that's still a go. The other project, Litvinenko, starring David Tennant, also has a U.S. home, as it's been picked up by AMC Networks to stream on Sundance Now and AMC+.
The series was initially commissioned by ITV for its U.K. streaming service ITVX, in conjunction with Viaplay, which specializes in nordic mysteries and Nordic countries. The series was a big seller, due to both the content and the lead actor, with deals made with multiple countries, including M6 in France, ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany, Sky Italia, Seven Network in Australia, and TVNZ in New Zealand. Canadian readers will be happy to know the series will also be streaming up north of the U.S., where Prime Video nabbed the rights.
The series was written by Lupin's George Kay and will focus on the killing of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian Federal Security Services and KGB officer. His death, from polonium poisoning in November 2006, made national headlines, with most assuming he was poisoned at the orders of Vladimir Putin. It also triggered one of the most complex and dangerous investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police.
Here's the logline for Litvinenko.
It follows the determined Scotland Yard Officers who worked a decade to prove who was responsible and also focuses on Litvinenko’s fearless wife Marina who fought tirelessly to persuade the British Government to publicly name her husband’s killers and acknowledge the role of the Russian State in his murder.
Tennant stars as Litvinenko alongside Russian American actress Margarita Levieva (The Lincoln Lawyer) as wife Marina. The cast also features Mark Bonnar (Guilt) as DS Clive Timmons. Other costars include Neil Maskell (Peaky Blinders), Barry Sloane (The Bay), Daniel Ryan (Innocent), Richard Pepper (The Spanish Princess), and Estella Daniels (Da Vinci's Demons).
AMC+ and Sundance Now have not set a premiere date for Litvinenko, but is is expected to stream on both sometime in 2023.