Maggie Gyllenhaal has been cast as the lead in BBC Two’s The Honourable Woman, the channel’s upcoming drama series from Hugo Blick. In addition, US cable network Sundance Channel has signed on to co-produce the drama, which will air as an 8 part mini-series on the network in 2014. The co-production agreement comes after Sundance co-produced another BBC Two series Top Of The Lake, which is set to premiere on BBC Two in the coming weeks.
Penned by Hugo Blick, The Honourable Woman follows Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who, as a child witnessed the assassination of her father who was a Zionist arms procurer. As an adult, inheriting her father’s company, she dramatically inverts its purpose from supplying arms to laying high-spec data cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank. Now in her thirties, her sudden appointment as a life peer, apparently due to her tireless promotion of projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians, creates an international political maelstrom. Following the murder of a Palestinian business man, Samir Meshal, after he had just been awarded the latest cabling contract, Nessa and her brother Ephra find themselves placed under the scrutiny of both Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). The drama series is being produced by Eight Rooks and Drama Republic in association with Sundance Channel. The executive producers are Polly Hill, Hugo Blick and Greg Brenman.
“Maggie Gyllenhaal will be a perfect Nessa Stein, and I am delighted that she has agreed to play her”, said Polly Hill, Head of Independent Drama for the BBC. “Hugo Blick has created a complex character in Nessa, with an extraordinary story and the combination of Hugo’s stunning scripts and Maggie Gyllenhaal in the lead role is an exciting and powerful combination.”
Executive Producer Greg Brenman commented: “We have been fans of Hugo Blick for many years and are thrilled that this extraordinary project, now boasting one of America’s leading ladies will be the first production for Drama Republic.”
While Sarah Barnett, President of Sundance Channel, added: “The Honourable Woman is scintillating drama: it is both a tightly plotted international political thriller and a superbly wrought character piece about hope, compromise, guilt and families. The talent both behind and in front of the camera is remarkable, we are so excited to present this brilliant and wildly entertaining mini-series to our viewers.”