Naveen Andrews, Sophie Okonedo, Timothy Spall & Elliot Knight for Sky 1’s Sinbad

Sky today announces the casting of SINBAD, Sky 1 HD’s epic fantasy drama about the iconic mythological character, which is currently filming in Malta for transmission on Sky 1 HD in 2012.

SINBAD promises a 21st century take on the classic 8th century iconic hero, reinvigorating the hero’s adventures for a contemporary audience. Leading the cast of this high-octane adventure as SINBAD is newcomer Elliot Knight, 20, who will be graduating from drama school this summer.

Alongside Knight, will be a host of well-known faces, including LOST’s Naveen Andrews as Sinbad’s nemesis, Lord Akbari, who will stop at nothing to destroy the young hero. Also, guest starring in the series are Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) who plays Razia, Queen of the Water-Thieves, and Timothy Spall (Secrets and Lies, Harry Potter) as Anicetus, The Old Man of the Sea.

On the run from his home town of Basra and under a curse from his grandmother (Dame Janet Suzman – Nicholas and Alexander) for a killing that led to the death of his much-loved brother, the streetwise SINBAD finds himself cast out to sea. On board The Providence an intriguing band of travellers is thrown together, including taciturn Norwegian sailor Gunnar (Elliot Cowan – Marchlands), the lithe and agile jewel-thief Rina (Marama Corlett – The Devil’s Double), and haughty and aristocratic Nala (Estella Daniels – Thorne). Completing the ship’s complement is the Cook (Junix Inocian – The 51st State), an odd-ball and eccentric character and the ship’s cerebral doctor Anwar (Dimitri Leonidas – Grange Hill).

Surviving a violent and magical storm, both SINBAD and his fellow ship-mates are forced to band together to face their inner demons, hopes, loves and fears. Our flawed hero embarks on an epic and emotional quest to rid himself of the curse and embrace his destiny. When mystical meets muscle anything can happen….

Commenting on his casting, Elliot Knight said:
“I was thrilled when I heard I’d got the role of SINBAD. This is exactly what I have wanted to do since I was big enough to run around the garden waving a toy sword! SINBAD is a great character for any actor to be able to play: impulsive, adventurous, passionate, loyal and brave; a true hero. His story is packed with action, adventure and fantasy and I am looking forward to the exciting challenge of bringing him to life for a new generation.”

Huw Kennair-Jones, Sky’s Drama Commissioning Editor, commented:
“As our biggest original drama commission to date SINBAD is a hugely exciting project for Sky 1 HD, and the casting of the lead role was always going to be crucial. But from the first moment we saw Elliot we knew that we’d found someone really special who sums up everything that our SINBAD should be – contemporary, spirited, full of life, wit and charm – he’s a truly exciting new talent for the channel.”

Impossible Pictures’ Executive Producer Sophie Gardiner added:
“We are really excited to be getting underway with principle photography in Malta. The cast is sexy, the boat looks fantastic and the sets and costumes are very impressive. I believe we have a real hit on our hands with SINBAD.”