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Matt Smith to star in and executive produce Sky Original adaptation of Nick Cave’s darkly comic novel The Death of Bunny Munro

The six-part series written by Pete Jackson is produced by Clerkenwell Films in association with Sky Studios

Photo credit (Matt Smith): Greg Williams
Photo credit (Matt Smith): Greg Williams

Sky announced today that BAFTA and Emmy-nominated actor Matt Smith (House of the Dragon, The Crown) will star in and executive produce a Sky Original adaptation of Nick Cave’s darkly comic novel The Death of Bunny Munro in the titular role. The six-part series written by BAFTA winner Pete Jackson (Somewhere Boy) and directed by Isabella Eklöf (Industry, Holiday), based on Nick Cave’s sophomore novel, is produced by Clerkenwell Films in association with Sky Studios. Multi-talented and acclaimed musician and writer Nick Cave also serves as Executive Producer.

Following his wife Libby’s suicide, sex addict, door-to-door beauty product salesman and self-professed lothario Bunny Munro finds himself saddled with a young son and only a loose concept of parenting. Together with nine-year-old Bunny Junior he embarks on an epic and increasingly out-of-control road trip across Southern England as the two struggle to contain their grief in very different ways.

As Bunny bounces from one sales pitch to the next, trying to seduce any woman he meets, Bunny Junior kills time talking to the ghost of his mother and distracting himself from the dawning realisation that his dad isn’t just fallible, he’s a fucking mess. As he starts to unravel, Bunny realises he must do something to rescue his son from his own outdated notions of what it is to be a man. The Death of Bunny Munro is a darkly comic and unflinching modern-day parable as well as a tender portrait of the relationship between father and son.

The search for an actor to play the young Bunny Junior is already underway, with the hope of uncovering an exciting new talent.

Matt Smith is one of the UK’s most dynamic and talented actors working today. Known for his unique portrayal of the ‘Doctor’ in the seminal series Doctor Who, a role that garnered him critical acclaim and a BAFTA nomination. Matt was most recently seen in the supernatural horror film Starve Acre with Morfydd Clark. Before this, he was ‘Prince Daemon Targaryen’ in HBO’s hugely successful House of the Dragon, a role that garnered him a ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series’ Critics Choice Award nomination, along with the show winning a Golden Globe for ‘Best Television Series’. The second series is set for release summer 2024.

Matt Smith said: To work alongside Nick Cave on The Death of Bunny Munro feels like a great honour. It’s a brilliant exploration of love, grief, and chaos. At its heart a deep, difficult, and tender story about a father and son, coping with loss and change. Clerkenwell Films and Sky feels like the perfect home to make such a bold story and Pete has delivered such wonderful scripts, both funny and heart breaking in equal measure. I can’t wait to collaborate with Isabella and begin the journey with everyone at Clerkenwell.”

Nick Cave said: “Finally, someone with the courage to take on this unholy tale. I am thrilled that Sky and Clerkenwell Films are bringing Bunny to life, in all his flawed glory, and I can think of nobody better than Matt Smith to play him.“

Petra Fried, Managing Director, Clerkenwell Films said: “We’re so excited to be working with Pete, Matt, Nick, Isabella and Sky on The Death of Bunny Munro, a timely tale about masculinity, dark and twisted but also full of humour and humanity. Pete’s scripts brilliantly capture Nick’s creation, and we can’t wait to see Matt bring this singular anti-hero to life.”

Meghan Lyvers, Director of Original Series, Sky Studios UK&I said: “We are thrilled to support Pete Jackson, Matt Smith, Nick Cave, Isabella Eklöf and Clerkenwell Films in bringing this beloved novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, to screen as a provocative, heart-breaking, and powerful examination of a relationship between father and son as we build on our commitment to bring bold characters and ambitious stories to our Sky audiences.”

The Death of Bunny Munro is produced by Clerkenwell Films, who are wholly owned by BBC Studios, in association with Sky Studios. Commissioning Editor, Manpreet Dosanjh, is Executive Producer for Sky Studios. Petra Fried, Ed Macdonald and Emily Harrison are Executive Producers for Clerkenwell Films. Matt Smith, Nick Cave, Pete Jackson and Isabella Eklöf also serve as Executive Producers. The Producer is Matthew Mulot (Ghosts).

The series will begin filming in Spring 2024 across the south of England and will be available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in the UK. NBCUniversal Global Distribution handle international sales of the series on behalf of Sky Studios. 

About Clerkenwell Films

Clerkenwell Films produce award-winning, high-end television for both UK and international broadcasters and streaming platforms. Credits include The End of the F***ing World (Netflix/Channel 4) and Misfits (Channel 4), both of which won the BAFTA for Best Drama Series. More recent work includes Somewhere Boy (Channel 4) and Cheaters (BBC1) which were both released to critical acclaim. Upcoming productions include Baby Reindeer (Netflix) based on Richard Gadd’s Olivier-winning show, and Charlie Covell and Iain Weatherby’s Truelove (Channel 4). Clerkenwell Films is wholly owned by BBC Studios. 

About Sky Studios

Sky Studios is the home of Sky Original Drama and Comedy.

We develop, commission and produce unmissable programming for Sky’s customers across Europe.

Our teams partner with the best indies and talent globally, to drive creative excellence and tell original stories that are loved by audiences the world over.

Our Sky Originals include Emmy-nominated hit, Gangs of London, BAFTA-winning comedy, Brassic, Mary & George, starring Julianne Moore, The Day of the Jackal, with Eddie Redmayne and Lashana Lynch and M. Son of the Century, directed by Joe Wright.

Alongside Sky Original Comedy and Drama, Sky Studios is home to an in-house Factual development and production team, and some of the world’s most exciting production companies including Blast! Films, True North and Love Productions.

We also operate Sky Studios Elstree, the UK’s newest film and TV studio with 13 sound stages, representing a significant investment in the UK and European creative economy. 

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