EXCLUSIVE: Vertigo Films is partnering with its ‘Britannia’ team Tom Butterworth and David Morrissey for The Dirty Squad, a new original drama series on based on the first exposé of corruption within the London Metropolitan Police. The news comes fresh after Deadline revealed that Sky had canceled epic fantasy historical drama Britannia after Season 3’s cliffhanger finale.
The Dirty Squad, which is written by showrunner Butterworth (Gangs of London) from an idea of Morrissey’s (The Walking Dead), will examine corruption at the heart of the Met Police during the porn boom of the 1970s. Morrissey will also star in the series.
'Britannia' Canceled By Sky After Season 3's Cliffhanger Finale
While London was swinging, the Met Police was busy becoming the biggest criminal gang in the country, turning new freedoms of the times into hard cash through bribes, extortion and theft and, as law enforcers, they made themselves ruthlessly untouchable. In response, the newly-appointed Met Police Commissioner Sir Robert Mark sets up the first police anti-corruption unit dubbed A10.
The Dirty Squad is the story of why it didn’t work, based on true stories of police dealings with porn barons, judges, politicians and media.
Much like Britannia, The Dirty Squad irreverently focuses on a period of dramatic change in the UK, this time uncovering one of the biggest corruption stories that the UK has ever known while tapping into every element of British society and establishment and examining how they got away with it.
Butterworth is lead writer and exec producer while Morrissey will play a lead role and exec produce along with Vertigo Films’ James Richardson.
“I was looking into a story of present-day police corruption but everywhere I turned seemed to drive me backwards in time, to the officers that had come before, until I reached The Dirty Squad of the late 60s and 70s – a story of systemic corruption and misogyny so jaw-dropping you’d think it could never happen again,” said Morrissey.
Butterworth added: “You couldn’t invent these true-life characters and their heinous, shameless, sometimes comically insane exploits. It’s like Narcos meets Carry On Up Scotland Yard. British myths have long fascinated me. The stories we tell ourselves about our institutions are no exception.”
Richardson added: “The facts are extraordinary. Each layer uncovers something more outrageous about society with the most incredible characters. As funny as it is dark, and as thrilling as it is shocking, we want it to be an edge of your seat look at the UK and perhaps a mirror into today.”
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