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Plan B, Punchdrunk join Sky/HBO drama

Sky Studios in the UK and US cablenet HBO are teaming up with Brad Pitt’s prodco Plan B Entertainment and UK theatre company Punchdrunk to create a live event for forthcoming drama series The Third Day.

Naomie Harris

Launching on May 12, The Third Day is a six-part copro from Sky and HBO starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris, which chronicles the individual journeys of a man and woman who arrive on a mysterious island at different times. It is written by Dennis Kelly.

At Sky’s 2020 showcase in London on Wednesday, the studio announced it and HBO will partner with Plan B and Punchdrunk to stage a live event alongside the series, making it the world’s first immersive TV drama.

Kelly and Punchdrunk’s artistic director Felix Barrett will create the project, which will tell three standalone but interconnected stories.

The first part, titled Summer, stars Law and is written by Kelly and directed by Marc Munden. Told over three episodes, which will air on Sky Atlantic and Now TV, Summer follows the story of Sam, a man who is drawn to a mysterious island off the British coast where he encounters a group of islanders set on preserving their traditions at any cost.

Following Summer, viewers will get the chance to become part of The Third Day world at an immersive theatre event created by Punchdrunk and directed by Barrett. Sudiences will inhabit the story as it happens, live. Audiences unable to get a place at the live event will be able to follow it online.

The Third Day concludes with Winter, told over a further three episodes on Sky Atlantic and Now TV. Starring Harris, written by Kelly, Kit de Waal and Dean O’Loughlin, and directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, it follows Helen, a strong-willed outsider who comes to the island seeking answers but whose arrival precipitates a fractious battle to decide its fate.

“I wanted to make a series that was unsettling and disturbing but that also spoke to fears that ran deeper than horror. The themes of The Third Day have long been obsessions of mine – it is about loss and hope and how both of those things can distort the mind in surprising and brutal ways,” said Kelly.

Barrett added: “To tell a story that spans TV and live-action has been a long-held ambition of mine. The Third Day will be both a TV show and a world you can enter, giving viewers the chance to live and breathe the narrative.”

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