Andrew Garfield to Play Yet Another Man of Conflicted Faith in ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’

Actors have lanes. It’s what they do. You want some kind of wise guy, you go to Joe Pesci. You want stately gravitas, call up Idris Elba. You want an action star, get Gal Gadot on the phone. Andrew Garfield is building an interesting and fairly unique lane for himself by playing a series of men tortured by various crises of faith. From Martin Scorsese’s Silence to Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge to this year’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Garfield knows his way around a spiritual struggle. It’s a lane he’ll continue to develop in Under the Banner of Heaven a new series headed to FX based on Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book of the same name.

Under the Banner of Heaven is a deep dive into the origins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and modern day double homicide in Utah committed by two brothers who belong to a fundamentalist splinter group of Mormons. The grisly real-life case is from 1984, when brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered their sister-in-law Brenda and her baby daughter Erica on what they said was a mission from God. Krakauer’s book juxtaposed the murder case with the history of the LDS Church, including founder Joseph Smith’s complex life.

The show will apparently follow Garfield as a “devout detective” whose faith is tested (surprise!) as he starts investigating the case. It will also star Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Sam Worthington (Avatar), Wyatt Russell (Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and Gil Birmingham (Eternals). David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water) is set to direct. No word on a release date yet, but we’ll be interested in this one, as we’re always interested in Garfield’s rich explorations of spiritual mess. No word on whether or not his rumored return to the Spider-Man franchise will find Peter Parker struggling with faith, but it would be on brand and we’d certainly be interested.

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