Melissa George Stars in HUNTED Drama Series, Debuting on Cinemax, 10/19
From "The X-Files" writer and producer Frank Spotnitz comes HUNTED, an eight-episode drama series set in the world of international espionage. Golden Globe nominee Melissa George (HBO's "In Treatment") stars as Sam Hunter, a skilled, gutsy operative for Byzantium, a secretive private firm involved in global intelligence and espionage. After surviving an attempt on her life that may have been orchestrated by members of her own team, she returns to work, but doesn't know who to trust. Shot on location in Europe, the primetime suspense show debuts FRIDAY, OCT. 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on CINEMAX.
The cast of HUNTED also includes Adam Rayner ("Hawthorne," "Dragon Age: Redemption"), Stephen Dillane (HBO's "Game of Thrones" and "John Adams"), Stephen Campbell Moore ("The Bank Job," "The History Boys"), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ("Lost," CINEMAX's "Strike Back"), Morven Christie ("The Sinking of the Laconia"), Lex Shrapnel ("Captain America: The First Avenger"), Indira Varma ("Human Target," HBO's "Rome"), Dhaffer L'Abidine ("Sex and the City 2") and Patrick Malahide ("Billy Elliot," HBO's "Five Days").
In addition to Frank Spotnitz, who wrote four episodes and co-wrote another episode, writers on the series include Simon Allen ("M.I. High"), Smita Bhide ("The Blue Tower") and Christian Spurrier ("MI-5"), who each wrote one episode, and Amira El Nemr ("Luther"), who co-wrote one episode.
Directors for the series include SJ Clarkson ("Life on Mars"), Daniel Percival (co-executive producer of season one of the CINEMAX series "Strike Back"), James Strong ("Downton Abbey") and Alrick Riley ("MI-5"), each of whom directed two episodes.
HUNTED is produced by Kudos Film & Television ("MI-5," "Life on Mars") in association with Big Light Productions for CINEMAX and BBC One.
HUNTED marks the second recent original primetime series on CINEMAX, following last year's Emmy(R)-nominated hit action drama "Strike Back," which was the first original primetime series on the network in more than 15 years, and is currently in its second season. The third original CINEMAX series to debut will be "Banshee," which is executive produced by Alan Ball (HBO's "True Blood") and slated to debut in Jan. 2013.
HUNTed Follows two primary story lines: Sam Hunter's journey to discover who is behind the attempt on her life and Byzantium's mission itself, both of which have larger implications. As the story unfolds, it becomes hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Uncertain of its clients' motives, the Byzantium team often finds itself working in a gray area, forcing Sam to operate in complete secrecy for her own safety.
Frank Spotnitz envisioned HUNTED as a complex international thriller, noting, "I love the spy genre. It's one of my all-time favorite things. I grew up watching so many spy movies and shows. Because the viewing choices have never been greater on television, no longer does the work have to be homogenized the way it used to. It has allowed writers and producers to do really interesting, sophisticated work. I think that television's never been better than it is today because of that - because of the freedom you have as a creator."
As he researched the background for his characters, he was intrigued to find real firms and people to inspire the show's stories and people.
"I was working on the character of Sam and her moral complexity when I discovered that there were all these private security firms," Spotnitz reveals. "I didn't know that there are actually thousands of these private spy agencies around the world. They draw their personnel largely from special forces and government spy agencies. They are really interesting because their operatives aren't told who their clients are, and I realized I haven't seen that before in movies or TV.
"I first met a woman who had worked for a private security firm. She is nothing like Sam's character, but in terms of her biography, she is pretty much like Sam, and has done the kind of work that Sam does. She's a very attractive young woman who worked for the British government and then worked for a private security firm after serving in Afghanistan. After that, I met a number of operatives from different security firms in London."
"You don't want to cross Sam," says Melissa George of her character. "She is still the firm's best operative, but since the attempt on her life, any trust she had for the firm and her co-workers is gone. That is why she is so determined to go back to work and face her team - she really believes that one of them is behind it. She is a very complicated person and not easy to get to know."