Home TV News Disney+ Sets May Premiere For Tudor Murder Mystery Drama ‘Shardlake’ Starring Arthur Hughes & Sean Bean

Disney+ Sets May Premiere For Tudor Murder Mystery Drama ‘Shardlake’ Starring Arthur Hughes & Sean Bean

Based on the best-selling novels by British author C.J. Sansom

by Dave Elliott

Get ready for a new game of “How long will Sean Bean survive?” as Disney+ sets a May premiere date for Tudor murder mystery drama, Shardlake, starring Arthur Hughes in the title role, with Sean Bean as Thomas Cromwell, based on the novel series by C.J. Sansom.

Arthur Hughes (‘The Innocents’, ‘The Archers’) plays Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer with an acute sense of justice and one of the few honest men in a world beset with scheming and plots. Shardlake works for Thomas Cromwell, played by Sean Bean (‘Time’, ‘Lord Of The Rings’), the dangerous and all-powerful right-hand man to Henry VIII. Despite Shardlake’s unwavering loyalty to Cromwell and the Crown, his position in society is unfavoured due to his appearance, as a person living with scoliosis during the Tudor period, suffering the indignity of being abused as a “crookback” wherever he turns. Anthony Boyle (‘Masters of the Air’) plays the cocky and good-looking Jack Barak, who leaves Shardlake unsure of whether he is an assistant or Cromwell’s spy.

Drenched in mystery, suspense and deception, this four-part drama, based on the first novel in Sansom’s series, is an eerie whodunnit adventure, set in 16th-century England during the dissolution of the monasteries. Shardlake’s sheltered life as a lawyer is turned upside down when Cromwell instructs him to investigate the murder of one of his commissioners at a monastery in the remote town of Scarnsea. The commissioner was gathering evidence to close the monastery and it is now imperative for Cromwell’s own political survival that Shardlake both solves the murder and closes the monastery. He leaves Shardlake in no doubt that failure is not an option. Cromwell insists that he is accompanied by Jack Barak to Scarnsea, where the duo are met with hostility, suspicion and paranoia by the monks who fear for their future and will seemingly stop at nothing to preserve their order.

The series also stars Babou Ceesay (‘Into the Badlands’, ‘Wolfe’) as Abbot Fabian, Paul Kaye (‘Game Of Thrones’, ‘Vera’) as Brother Jerome, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis (‘National Treasure’, ‘The Letter for the King’… and yes, daughter of Andy, if you were wondering!) as Alice, Peter Firth (‘Spooks’, ‘Strike Back’) as Norfolk, Matthew Steer (‘Silent Witness’, ‘EastEnders’) as Goodhap, Brian Vernel (‘Gangs of London’, ‘The Last Kingdom’) as Brother Mortimus, Irfan Shamji (‘The Ipcress File’, ‘Industry’) as Brother Guy, David Pearse (‘The Banshees of Inisherin’, ‘Brassic’) as Brother Edwig, Miles Barrow (‘The Peripheral’) as Brother Gabriel, Mike Noble (‘Home Fires’) as Bugge and Kimberley Nixon (‘The Tuckers’) as Joan.

‘Shardlake’ is written by Stephen Butchard (“The Good Mothers”). The series is executive produced by George Ormond and Mark Pybus for The Forge (a Banijay UK company) and Stevie Lee for Runaway Fridge. The series was commissioned by Lee Mason for Disney+, with Jonny Richards serving as executive producer for Disney+. Justin Chadwick (“The Other Boleyn Girl”) has directed the series with John Griffin as producer.

Shardlake‘ Season 1 premieres Wednesday, 1st May 2024 on Disney+ UK and worldwide.

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