David Tennant will take on the role of Alexander Litvinenko in an upcoming ITV drama, which tells the real-life story of the former Russian federal security service and the poisoning of the KGB officer.
Litvinenko’s death from polonium poisoning in November 2006 triggered one of the most complex and dangerous cases in the history of the Metropolitan Police.
Written by acclaimed screenwriter George Kay, whose screen hits include Lupine and Offender, Litvinenko is the story of the determined Scotland Yard officers who worked for ten years to prove who was responsible. Here’s everything we know about the four-part drama …
Litvinenko release date
Filming is due to begin this fall and a 2022 release date looks likely, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.
What is the plot of Litvinenko?
The drama will relate how, in November 2006, two policemen were called to University College Hospital in London to interview a patient in deteriorating health. The patient was Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who claimed to have been poisoned on the direct order of Vladimir Putin.
During interviews with police, Alexander provided meticulous details from his hospital bed about the events that led to his illness. His information would eventually help detectives locate two Russians who had poisoned Litvinenko with polonium 210, a highly toxic radioactive substance.
The iconic photograph taken of Litvinenko at his bedside made international headlines, and after he was pronounced dead on November 23, Scotland Yard launched its murder investigation.
Screenwriter George Kay described the remarkable story in a statement …
“At the end of 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was a living witness to his own murder. He spent his last days confiding to the Metropolitan Police the details of what happened to him. That police and their notable widow, Marina Litvinenko, took a decade to confirm those claims. His endurance, hard work and courage is what makes this not only an essential story of our time, but a privilege to be asked to write. “
The drama also focuses on the story of Marina, Alexander’s brave and 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 assassination.
Who stars in Litvinenko?
David Tennant, who recently won an NTA award for his portrayal of serial killer Dennis Nilsen on ITV’s From, has enjoyed a brilliant career on screen, playing Doctor Who and starring in hit shows like Wide church and Good omens.
“After David’s incredible performance as Dennis Nilsen, I am delighted that he is returning to ITV to play Alexander Litvinenko in the incredible story of his murder,” says ITV Drama Director Polly Hill. “George Kay’s scripts are brilliant and this is an important story documenting a lengthy police investigation and a powerful campaign for justice by his wife Marina. It is going to be a compelling drama and I am proud to have it on ITV.”
Margarita Levieva (COM)The devil, The blacklist) will play Marina, Litvinenko’s brave and dignified widow, while Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe, Exam) and Neil Maskell (Small ax, Utopia) will play Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt.
What else do we know about Litvinenko?
The four-part drama is produced with the support of many of the key individuals involved in the investigation and subsequent public inquiry, including former Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, along with Ben Emmerson QC and the Alexander family. .
“Doing this is a privilege,” says ITV Studios executive producer Patrick Spence. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell a story about a family and a police team who have shown so much courage and endurance that it has inspired us all.”
Is there a trailer for Litvinenko?
There’s no trailer at the moment, but we’ll be sure to post it here when it lands.