Deadline reports that Mark Rylance (Dunkirk) and Simon Pegg (Mission Impossible – Fallout) have joined Peackock and Channel 4’s political espionage thriller The Undeclared War. The series comes from Peter Kosminsky and Colin Callender, who are re-teaming with Rylance after working on Wolf Hall.
Rylance and Pegg will lead with the series with Adrian Lester (Riviera), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Alex Jennings (The Crown) and newcomer Hannah Khalique-Brown also starring. Kosminksy has written and will direct the six-episode series while Callender will produce from his production company Playground alongside NBCUniversal International Studios.
The Undeclared War follows “the post-pandemic world of 2024 against the backdrop of an upcoming British general election involving the UK’s first Black Conservative prime minister (Lester). It tracks a leading team of analysts at the heart of the UK’s NSA-style spy agency GCHQ as they attempt to ward off a cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system.”
Rylance will portray John Yeabsley, “a GCHQ old hand, who is brought back into the fold to support former colleagues in combatting the heightened threat level.” Pegg will star as Rylance’s boss Danny Patrick, “GCHQ’s head of operations.” Richardson-Sellers is Kathy Freeman, “an American cyber-analyst on attachment at GCHQ from the NSA” while Jennings is “GCHQ head David Neal”. Khalique-Brown will make her debut as Saara Parvan, “a young student doing work experience in the GCHQ Malware Department”.
“The series is based deep within the least-known arm of the UK’s intelligence infrastructure, GCHQ,” Kosminsky said. “The story we’re now able to tell casts an extraordinary, revelatory light on the hot, undeclared war taking place right now in the world’s newest and most invisible domain of conflict — cyber.”
“The Undeclared War is a stunning cautionary tale that brings to life a world never seen before on television or in film,” Callender said.
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.