Andrew Garfield has officially swapped his Spidey suit for a briefcase and a tie in the trailer for FX's new true-crime series, "Under the Banner of Heaven." Radiating the same dark energy as "The Handmaid's Tale" and Mike Flanagan's "Midnight Mass," with some traceable facts thrown in, the trailer keeps us on the edge of our seats as Garfield, a Mormon police detective, investigates the double homicide of a woman and her baby, which has left him and his entire community perplexed.
"The evidence points to things and beliefs that I have only ever heard whisperings about," Garfield says in disbelief. "I wonder how something so horrific could have come to pass." Keep reading to find out more about the eerie new show.
Is "Under the Banner of Heaven" Based on a True Story?
"Under the Banner of Heaven" is based on author Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book, "Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith." The book — which got its title from an 1880 address given by John Taylor, the third president of the LDS Church — was first published in 2003 and gives an account of the 1984 murder of Brenda Lafferty and her 1-year-old daughter, Erica. A closer look at Brenda's family history reveals that her husband, Allen Lafferty, planned to marry a second wife, a once common practice in Mormonism. Before they got married, however, Allen's second wife-to-be left him, which created a divide between Brenda and Allen's older brothers, Dan and Ron, who believed she was to blame for the split.
While attending a meeting at the School of the Prophets, a select group of LDS leaders, Ron claimed that he had a written "removal revelation" that was prompting him to kill Brenda and her baby. Fellow members of the School of Prophets refused to go along with Ron's claim of "divine revelation," and the brothers left the group shortly before Brenda and Erica were found with their throats slit. It's unclear how faithful the miniseries will be to the original book, but we're ready to piece together the clues and get some answers.
Who Is in the "Under the Banner of Heaven" Cast?
The series, directed by David Mackenzie and written by Dustin Lance Black, will star Andrew Garfield in the lead role as Pyre, a Mormon police detective. Additional cast members include "Normal People" star Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda Lafferty; Sam Worthington as Ron Lafferty; Denise Gough as Dianna Lafferty; "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's" Wyatt Russell as Dan Lafferty; Billy Howle as Allen Lafferty; "Pieces of Her's" Gil Birmingham as Bill Taba' "The Great Gatsby's" Adelaide Clemens as Rebecca Pyre; Rory Culkin as Samuel Lafferty; Seth Numrich as Robin Lafferty; Chloe Pirrie as Matilda Lafferty; Sandra Seacat as Josie Pyre; and Christopher Heyerdahl as Ammon Lafferty.
When Does "Under the Banner of Heaven" Premiere?
"Under the Banner of Heaven" was originally intended to be adapted as a film in 2011. In June 2021, FX announced that the story would instead be adapted as a miniseries. Filming began in August 2021, with production wrapping in December. The series is set to premiere exclusively on Hulu starting April 28 with the first two episodes. New episodes will release every Thursday.
"Under the Banner of Heaven" Official Trailer
"Heavenly Father, we ask that we might be instruments in Thy hand to fix what we find broken," Garfield says in the first few seconds of the official "Under the Banner of Heaven" trailer, released on March 29. Between clips of frenzied glances set to a haunting score, he continues, "What if this case isn't just a husband who turned against his wife? What if tonight is just the first edge of a bone finally working its way out of our own desert's floor? This goes beyond just a murder, beyond everything I believe."