Sky’s Fortitude Adds More A-List Cast Members
2015 was always going to be a year of transformation for Sky. The company was about to enjoy its first full year as owner of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, and has openly talked about moving to a more content led approach. Over £600 million had been put aside to develop world class TV programming to draw customers in and to sell around the world. One of the first programmes out of the blocks, and perhaps the most highly publicised was Fortitude. It launched on the 29th of January, 2015 and soon generated exactly the kind of buzz Sky were looking for. Dark, uncompromising and with a stellar script, it came as little surprise that Fortitude would be getting a second series.
Now, the company have announced that yet more incredible acting talent would be joining the cast for the second series, including the likes of Dennis Quaid (Far From Heaven, Footloose), Parminder Nagra (ER), Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), Robert Sheehan (Misfits) and Ken Stott (The Missing). With more incredible plot twists than ever before and set against the same breath-taking backdrop, things should be very interesting in this second series of the hit programme.
The first series of Fortitude has been a considerable hit around the world after being sold to more than 170 territories. In the UK, its premiere episode has now been seen more than 3.2 million times. For the second series, we’re being promised a “pacey” new plotline as a fresh murder rocks the community and plunges it into turmoil.
The new cast members will be joining the returning cast of Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing), Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones), Luke Treadaway (Clash of the Titans), Darren Boyd (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man), Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Jar City), Mia Jexen (Happiness), Alexandra Moen (Strike Back), Verónica Echegui (The Cold Light of Day), Sienna Guillory (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) and Ramon Tikaram (Jupiter Ascending).
Zai Bennett, Director of Sky Atlantic, said: “I’m incredibly excited to welcome these great names to our already amazing returning cast for the next series of Fortitude. We know our customers love epic dramas and world class storytelling and they appreciate that having the very best actors are integral to bringing these shows to life. Its success around the world is testament to all involved and we are delighted to be working with Pivot again for this second series.”
Simon Donald, the creator and writer said: “Sky and Pivot are letting me return to the Arctic with Fortitude II. Given what happened in our story previously this may be somewhat reckless. But with Dennis Quaid, Michelle Fairley, Ken Stott, Parminder Nagra and Robert Sheehan to play with – somewhat reckless should get thrillingly intense.”
Belisa Balaban, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Pivot, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Sky once again on this bold Arctic thriller, and to welcome these extraordinary actors into the cozy, twisted world of Fortitude. The second season promises another unexpected journey into this melting glacial landscape.”
The new series is just ramping up production, and will broadcast in late 2016 with the same creative team that brought the programme to air for series one. Perhaps of greater interest is the lack of concrete detail Sky are giving on the format the programme will be shot in. The first series of Fortitude was shot in HD and was widely praised for its spectacular visuals. Now that Sky Q has launched with 4K support, it would come as little surprise that the second series of the programme would bring those sumptuous visuals to 4K screens and drive more customers to contact Sky to upgrade to the new service.
Regardless, the return of Fortitude shows Sky’s continued commitment to producing top tier entertainment, and alongside other 2016 shows like Alan Partridge’s Mid-Morning Matters, a new series of Penny Dreadful, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, The Five and The Tunnel: Sabotage, it’s shaping up to be an incredible year for drama across Sky. Only time will tell whether this continued focussing on content will bring the riches Sky believe they deserve, but we’re eagerly looking forward to finding out.