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‘Game of Thrones’ Star Joe Dempsie Joins Fox’s ‘Deep State’

Variety logo Variety 5/9/2017 Robert Mitchell
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“Games of Thrones” star Joe Dempsie and Belgian actress Lyne Renée have joined the cast of Fox Network Group’s “Deep State,” which has begun production in Morocco. Fox Network Group’s first regional scripted commission for Europe and Africa, the spy thriller, created by Matthew Parkhill and Simon Maxwell, stars Mark Strong and Karima McAdams and forms part of Fox Networks Group Europe and Africa’s strategy to source, develop and produce original productions at a regional level.

“It’s wonderful to be starting production on ‘Deep State,’ knowing that we have such a strong and interesting company of actors to bring to life Matthew and the team’s fantastic scripts,” said Sara Johnson, vice president of scripted drama at Fox Networks Group, Europe and Africa. “We couldn’t be happier that we will soon be taking delivery of our first regional scripted commission.”

The eight-part thriller stars Strong as former spy Max Easton, who returns to the espionage game to avenge the death of his son. Dempsie will play Harry Clarke, a gifted secret agent whose moral compass proves too rigid for the kind of work he has to carry out. Renée plays Strong’s character’s second wife, an emergency room doctor, who finds her world turned upside down by Max’s return to his former life. The previously announced McAdams plays a smart and uncompromising elite intelligence operative.

Dempsie was one of the breakout stars of E4’s teen drama “Skins,” starring in the first two seasons alongside Nicholas Hoult, Kaya Scodelario and Dev Patel. He went on to play the character of Gendry over the first three seasons of HBO’s global smash hit “Game of Thrones.”

Renée’s recent credits include PBS’ “Mercy Street” and CBS’ “Madam Secretary.” She also features in Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories,” which sees its world premiere in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Deep State” is an Endor Production for Fox Networks Group, Europe and Africa, and will air in more than 50 countries on Fox. Parkhill wrote the season pilot and serves as showrunner and executive producer. He will also direct four episodes, with Australian director Robert Connolly handling the other four shows.

Tom Nash will produce for Endor alongside Khadija Alami of the Moroccan-based K-Films. BAFTA and Primetime Emmy Award winner Hilary Bevan Jones will serve as executive producer for Endor alongside Alan Greenspan of 6 Degree Media and Helen Flint of Little Island Productions, and Jeff Ford and Sara Johnson for Fox Networks Group, Europe and Africa. Maxwell also serves as writer and executive producer.

The production is currently shooting in Morocco, whose “grand scale, range and visceral nature of the locations” provide the “perfect backdrop for ‘Deep State,’” Nash and Bevan Jones said. Production will move to London later this year.

Worldwide distribution rights will be handled by Fox Networks Group Content Distribution.

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