EXCLUSIVE: Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay is leading a podcast based on Joseph Conrad’s 1911 spy thriller Under Western Eyes.
The Razumov Files, from True Spies distributor Spyscape and producer Cup & Nuzzle, will approach the 1917 Russian Revolution from the perspective of a contemporary investigative podcast, with Brown Findlay playing Jess, a journalist whose family appears to be implicated in a multiple murder case by an unknown assailant.
Under Western Eyes takes place in St. Petersburg and follows Razumov, a young student preparing for a career in the Tsarist bureaucracy who unwittingly becomes embroiled in the assassination of a public official. Asked to spy on the family of the assassin ― his close friend ― he must come to terms with timeless questions of accountability and human integrity. The novel is seen as a response to the themes explored in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and is one of Conrad’s most well known works.
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“All actors love doing something that’s a little different to what’s gone before, and The Razumov Files leapt out at me as an exciting new approach to storytelling,” said Brown Findlay. “I loved the way the script combined the genius of Conrad with the twists and turns and immediacy that everyone loves about non-fiction podcasts.”
Cup & Nuzzle Co-Founder Graham Hodge said the producer was drawn to Under Western Eyes due to its being “rooted in this very particular historical moment – the years of unrest and brutal suppression that eventually gave rise to the Russian Revolution – and so already it feels very real.”
Downton Abbey star Brown Findlay can be seen next in Francesco Carrozzini’s The Hanging Sun, which debuted at Venice, along with Paramount+ UK original Flatshare. She led Peacock’s Brave New World, which was cancelled after one season.
The Razumov Files will debut next week on the Spyscape+ platform alongside a new season of True Spies focusing on Osama Bin Laden, hosted by Loki star Sophia Di Martino. Charting Bin Laden’s rise to power, the latest season will feature interviews with CIA operatives, foreign affair journalists and experts.
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