EXCLUSIVE: Sky Atlantic and Canal+ have found the two lead actors for their upcoming co-production The Tunnel. I’ve learned that Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy have been cast in the ten-part series as the male and female leads. Dillane will play Karl Roebuck, the English detective assigned to the case; while Poésy will play Elise Wasserman, a French detective who is assigned to the investigation alongside Roebuck. Dillane is currently a series regular on HBO’s Game of Thrones and was previously a main cast member on the BBC One/Cinemax series Hunted. Poésy’s previous credits include The CW’s Gossip Girl and the Harry Potter feature film series.
An adaptation of Scandinavian series The Bridge which is being co-produced with French broadcaster Canal+, The Tunnel is set against the backdrop of Europe in crisis. When a prominent French politician is found dead on the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) and Elise Wassermann (Clémence Poésy) are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries. However, the case takes a surreal turn when a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, forcing the French and British police into an uneasy partnership. As the serial killer uses ever more elaborate and ingenious methods to highlight the moral bankruptcy of modern society, Karl and Elise are drawn deeper into his increasingly personal agenda. Kudos Film & TV and Shine France are producing the 10 episode series, with Jane Featherstone, Karen Wilson, Manda Levin, Ben Richards, Anne Mensah, Fabrice De La Patellière, Lars Blomgren and Nora Melhli serving as executive producers. Dominic Moll is directing.
Sky Atlantic’s push into original programming has been underpinned by a desire to have cinematic series headlined by big name actors. That was the approach with Hit and Miss, the channel’s serial about a transgender hit man, which was headlined by Academy Award winner Chloe Sevigny. Having the likes of Poésy and Dillane certainly fits in with that same desire and is sure to attract the awards, not to mention the viewers, that BSkyB are after.