the undeclared war

Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg are set to fight in The Undeclared War, a near-future cyber thriller from Peter Kominsky (Wolf WallWhite Oleander). The Channel 4 series has just been picked up by Peacock, which will air the show in the U.S.

Peacock has ordered The Undeclared War, a six-part cyber thriller series directed and co-written by seven-time BAFTA winner Peter Kosminsky, which is “set in 2024 in the run up to a British general election” and “tracks a leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ, the UK’s version of the NSA, secretly working to ward off a cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system.”

Rylance, who reunites with Kominsky after the 2015 BBC limited series Wolf Hall, leads the cast alongside Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible), with Adrian Lester (Mary Queen of Scots), Alex Jennings (A Very English Scandal), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and newcomer Hannah Khalique-Brown joining them.

The series is the result of a three-year research process, in which Kosminsky and his team “gained unprecedented access to the cyber security industry on both sides of the Atlantic, allowing a realistic picture of the threat faced by the Western world to be depicted in the drama.” But this is a fictional series that takes place three years in the future, and seems to posit the worst that could happen in the event of a cyber-attack. So like a much more realistic Black Mirror, or Contagion for cyber.

“The series is based deep within the least-known arm of the UK’s intelligence infrastructure, GCHQ. 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,” Kominsky said.

Kominsky will direct all six episodes and writes four. Other writers include Declan Lawn (The Salisbury Poisonings), Adam Patterson (The Salisbury Poisonings) and Amelia Spencer (Dead Birds). Kominsky also reunites with his Wolf Hall producer Colin Callender, whose production company Playground also developed All Creatures Great and Small with him.

“I’m delighted to be reuniting with Peter to bring his exhilarating vision to life,” Callender said. “THE UNDECLARED WAR is a stunning cautionary tale that brings to life a world never seen before on television or in film. I’m equally thrilled to be partnering with NBCUniversal International Studios, Channel 4 and Peacock, all of whom have been fiercely supportive and dedicated to bringing this provocative, timely story to the screen.”

Peter Kosminsky will executive produce The Undeclared War alongside Callender and Noëlette Buckley (Wolf Hall) for Playground. Robert Jones (Babylon) also produces.

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