The seven-episode series is based on John Krakauer’s 2003 book of the same name, which examined the origin and evolution of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the shocking 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty and her baby daughter in Utah.
In the new adaptation, Garfield plays a detective named Jeb Pyre, a devout Mormon who’s tasked with solving the crime, which has rocked an otherwise tranquil suburban town (“We aren’t a community that usually locks its doors, so for now we feel it’s prudent to air on the side of caution,” he says ominously in the trailer). But as Pyre digs into the case, he uncovers some buried truths about the LDS, leading him to question his own faith.
Along with Garfield, Under the Banner of Heaven will star Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda Lafferty and Sam Worthington as Ron Lafferty, Brenda’s brother-in-law (spoiler alert for a decades-old crime: Ron and his younger brother Dan were convicted of Brenda’s murder). The cast also includes Denise Gough, Wyatt Russell, Billy Howle, Gil Birmingham, Adelaide Clemens, Rory Culkin, Seth Numrich, Chloe Pirrie, and Sandra Seacat. The showrunner and creator is Dustin Lance Black, who won a screenwriting Oscar for the Harvey Milk biopic, Milk.