Damian Lewis is the sort of actor one tends to associate with prestige drama --- he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his starring role in the spy thriller Homeland, but his career has spanned series ranging from period dramas (Wolf Hall) to adaptations of literary classics (A Spy Among Friends). With a little Succession-lite thrown on top for good measure (Billions).
He's definitely not the first actor whose name that comes to mind when you hear the phrase "supernatural black comedy." But that's about to change thanks to his new (dual) role in The Radleys, a contemporary vampire film that aims to explore what happens when we ignore our deepest, darkest desires or try to suppress our true selves.
Based on the popular novel by Matt Haig, the story follows the titular Radleys, a seemingly ordinary family in a quiet, suburban English town. But, under the surface, parents Peter and Helen are keeping a dark secret. They're abstaining vampires.
This means they choose to ignore their natural cravings and refuse to drink blood, even though it's making them hungrier by the day. But when Peter's hedonistic, bloodthirsty twin brother Will arrives in town, the Radleys have to face some difficult truths --- including the fact that their teenage children, Rowan and Clara, don't know that their parents are vampires.
Lewis will play the dual roles of both Peter and his brother Will and he'll be joined by an ensemble that includes such buzzy names as Kelley Macdonald (The Child in Time), Sophia Di Martino (Loki), Shaun Parkes (Small Axe), Harry Baxendale (Holmes & Watson) and Bo Bragason (The Ballad of Renegade Nell)
The dark comedy will be directed by Euros Lyn (Heartstopper) and is based on a script by British Comedy Award winner Jo Brand and written by Talitha Stevenson. Lewis is executive producing via his production company Ginger Biscuit Entertainment.
"I'm very excited to watch Matt Haig’s The Radleys come alive on screen as it begins production with top British talent including Damian Lewis and Kelly Macdonald," Julia Stuart, Director of Original Film at Sky said in a statement. "Wickedly funny and darkly compelling, I’m so pleased to bring this film to Sky Cinema in 2024.”
Additional executive producers include Julia Stuart and Laura Grange at Sky, Mark Gooder and Alison Thompson at Cornerstone, Peter Touche, Andrea Scarso, and Christelle Conan at Ingenious Media, and Julian Gleek of Genesius
Filming on the Sky Original is currently underway in London and Yorkshire. with an eye to a 2024 release.