ITV has teamed with NENT Group to commission Litvinenko, a four-part drama about the assassination of the former Russian FSB and KGB officer whose death in November 2006, triggered one of the most complex investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police. David Tennant is attached to star as Alexander Litvinenko.
Litvinenko explores how in November 2006 two police officers were called to University College Hospital in London to interview a patient in declining health. The Patient was Alexander Litvinenko (David Tennant), a Russian dissident who claimed to have been poisoned on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin.
During the police interviews, Alexander provided meticulous details from his hospital bedside about the events leading up to his illness. His information would ultimately help detectives track down two Russians who had poisoned Litvinenko with Polonium 210, a highly toxic radioactive substance. The iconic photograph taken of Litvinenko at his bedside generated international headlines, and after he was pronounced dead on November 23, Scotland Yard launched its murder investigation.
Rounding out the cast is Margarita Levieva (The Deuce, The Blacklist) as Marina, Alexander’s fearless, dignified widow 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; and Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe, Quiz) and Neil Maskell (Small Axe, Utopia) as Scotland Yard Detectives Clive Timmons Brent Hyatt.
George Kay is penning the scripts for the series, which is being produced with the co-operation of many of the key individuals involved in the investigation and subsequent public enquiry including former Scotland Yard Officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, Ben Emmerson QC and Alexander’s family. ITV Studios, NENT Group and Tiger Aspect Productions are producing. Chris May is the series producer, while Jim Field Smith is directing. The executive producers are Patrick Spence, Josephine Zapata Genetay, Lucy Bedford, George Kay, Jim Field Smith and David Tennant.
“After David’s incredible performance as Dennis Nilsen I’m delighted he returns to ITV to play Alexander Litvinenko in the incredible story of his murder”, said ITV’s Head of Drama Poly Hill, who commissioned the series and will oversee the production for the broadcaster. “George Kay’s scripts are brilliant and this is an important story that documents a long police investigation and a powerful campaign for justice by his wife Marina. It is going to make a compelling drama and I am proud to have it on ITV.”