Succession star Brian Cox to play investigative journalist in new Sky political thriller

Succession star Brian Cox will swop the role of media mogul for an investigative journalist in a new political thriller made by Sky.

Cox, who plays Logan Roy in the family drama, returns as a “legendary journalist” in The Independent, a feature-length thriller about a conspiracy to undermine an independent candidate for the US presidency.

The movie is one of 200 new drama and comedy shows, featuring the cream of British screen talent, unveiled by Sky as it battles to retain subscribers and fend off the challenge from streaming rivals.

Kenneth Branagh, Suranne Jones, Gemma Arterton, Romesh Ranganathan, Keeley Hawes, Sheridan Smith, Billie Piper, Colin Farrell, Liam Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Jodie Turner-Smith and Letitia Wright all feature in the slate of new series and films.

In The Independent an idealistic young journalist (Jodie Turner-Smith) teams up with her idol, journalist Nick Booker (Cox), to “uncover a conspiracy that places the fate of the election, and the country, in their hands.” Ann Dowd stars as a candidate to become president.

Branagh will play Boris Johnson in This England, a drama charting the Covid pandemic through the eyes of the Prime Minister.

It is based on first-hand testimony of people from all walks of life: From Number 10, the Department of Health, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and from hospitals and care homes across the country.

Sheridan Smith stars in a comedy series Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything whilst Billie Piper returns in a second season of showbusiness satire I Hate Suzie.

Keeley Hawes stars in The Midwich Cuckoos whilst another Sky Original film, The Amazing Maurice, features Gemma Arterton, Emilia Clarke and Hugh Laurie.

Now owned by US giant Comcast, Sky is investing heavily in dramas which it can make at its new Sky Studios Elstree production base.

By signing up A-list talent, Sky hopes to keep its paying customers satisfied as it faces competition from Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime.

Sky is also facing the loss of dramas from HBO, a reliable source of acclaimed shows, as the American company launches its own streaming service.

Announcing the line-up at a West End launch, Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content, said: “Great stories have the power to help us connect with each other, and at its best entertainment isn’t something we watch, it’s something we feel and experience.”

“That’s why we’re creating and investing in world-class original storytelling to give our customers even more of their favourite shows and films than ever before.”

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