|Elliot Knight & Naveen Andrews star in Sky's SINBAD|
Sky are getting in on the trend for family-friendly telefantasy (that's seen Doctor Who, Merlin and Primeval become ratings-winners for their terrestrial rivals), with an adaptation of classic seafaring adventure Sinbad, co-produced with Impossible Pictures and BBC Worldwide, with the assistance of Nine Network Australia. And now they've revealed the assembled cast...
Taking the eponymous lead is unknown actor Elliot Knight, who has yet to even graduate from drama school! He'll be joined by Naveen Andrews (Lost) as villain Lord Akbari, Dame Janet Suzman (The Singing Detective), Elliot Cowan (Marchlands), Marama Corlett (The Devil's Double), Estella Daniels (Thorne), Junix Inocian (The 51st State) and Dimitri Leonidas (Grange Hill). Big name guest stars will include Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) as Razia, Queen of the Water-Thieves, and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter) as Anicitus, The Old Man of the Sea.
The synopsis from Sky:
"On the run from his home town of Basra and under a curse from his grandmother (Suzman) for a killing that led to the death of his much-loved brother, the streetwise Sinbad finds himself cast out to sea. On board The Providence an intriguing band of travelers is thrown together, including taciturn Norwegian sailor Gunnar (Cowan), the lithe and agile jewel-thief Rina (Corlett), and haughty and aristocratic Nala (Daniels). Completing the ship's complement is the Cook (Inocian), an odd-ball and eccentric character and the ship's cerebral doctor Anwar (Leonidas).Elliot Knight, actor:
Surviving a violent and magical storm, both Sinbad and his fellow ship-mates are forced to band together to face their inner demons, hopes, loves and fears. Our flawed hero embarks on an epic and emotional quest to rid himself of the curse and embrace his destiny. When mystical meets muscle anything can happen..."
"I was thrilled when I heard I'd got the role of Sinbad. This is exactly what I have wanted to do since I was big enough to run around the garden waving a toy sword! Sinbad is a great character for any actor to be able to play: impulsive, adventurous, passionate, loyal and brave. A true hero. His story is packed with action, adventure and fantasy and I am looking forward to the exciting challenge of bringing him to life for a new generation."Huw Kennair-Jones, Sky Drama Commissioning Editor:
"As our biggest original drama commission to date Sinbad is a hugely exciting project for Sky 1 HD, and the casting of the lead role was always going to be crucial. But from the first moment we saw Elliot we knew that we'd found someone really special who sums up everything that our Sinbad should be -- contemporary, spirited, full of life, wit and charm -- he's a truly exciting new talent for the channel."Sophie Gardiner, Impossible Pictures' Executive Producer:
"We are really excited to be getting underway with principle photography in Malta. The cast is sexy, the boat looks fantastic and the sets and costumes are very impressive. I believe we have a real hit on our hands with Sinbad."Filming has begun in Malta, with the 13-part series scheduled to premiere in 2012 on Sky1/HD.