Shardlake - Sean Bean as Thomas Cromwell

Shardlake – date revealed for Disney+’s Tudor murder mystery series

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Disney+ confirm the start date for Shardlake with a social media announcement from two of its stars. 

Revealing a May 1st start for its upcoming C.J. Samsom adaptation, Disney+ have deployed the show’s stars Arthur Hughes and Antony Boyle to make a short Instagram reveal.


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The 16th century mystery series, which also stars Sean Bean, follows the title character Matthew Shardlake who is deployed by Thomas Cromwell to investigate a murder within a remote monastery town.

The reveal came with a new poster image too, bearing the tag line “God Knows Who Did It”…

Shardlake poster

There’s further information, plus the show’s trailer below.

Shardlake is a four-part drama, with all episodes dropping on Wednesday May 1st, 2024.

Original article (of 15/02/24) continues…

Shardlake – trailer for new Sean Bean’s new Tudor murder mystery series

Disney has released a trailer for Shardlake, a new Tudor detective drama based on the novels of C.J. Sansom. 

Set in the reign of Henry VIII, the story follows Matthew Shardlake as he investigates a murder in a remote monastery town. It’s based on CJ Samson’s first novel for the character, Dissolution.

Shardlake - Arthur Hughes as Matthew Shardlake

Arthur Hughes as Matthew Shardlake (c) Disney+

The show’s star casting is Sean Bean as Thomas Cromwell. However, Arthur Hughes leads the show as Matthew Shardlake, with Anthony Boyle as Jack Barak.

Here’s the official synopsis for Shardlake:

Arthur Hughes plays Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer with an acute sense of justice and one of the few honest men in a world beset with scheming and plots. Shardlake works for Thomas Cromwell, played by Sean Bean, the dangerous and all-powerful right-hand man to Henry VIII. Despite Shardlake’s unwavering loyalty to Cromwell and the Crown, his position in society is unfavoured due to his appearance, as a person living with scoliosis during the Tudor period, suffering the indignity of being abused as a “crookback” wherever he turns. Anthony Boyle plays the cocky and good-looking Jack Barak, who leaves Shardlake unsure of whether he is an assistant, or Cromwell’s spy.

Shardlake - Anthony Boyle as Jack Barak

Anthony Boyle as Jack Barak (c) Disney+

Drenched in mystery, suspense and deception, this four-part drama, based on the first novel in Sansom’s series, is an eerie whodunnit adventure, set in 16th century England during the dissolution of the monasteries. Shardlake’s sheltered life as a lawyer is turned upside down when Cromwell instructs him to investigate the murder of one of his commissioners at a monastery in the remote town of Scarnsea. The commissioner was gathering evidence to close the monastery and it is now imperative for Cromwell’s own political survival that Shardlake both solves the murder and closes the monastery. He leaves Shardlake in no doubt that failure is not an option. Cromwell insists that he is accompanied by Jack Barak to Scarnsea, where the duo are met with hostility, suspicion and paranoia by the monks who fear for their future and will seemingly stop at nothing to preserve their order.

The cast

Shardlake also enjoys an impressive ensemble cast including Paul Kaye, Peter Firth and Kimberley Nixon.

Plus, Babou Ceesay, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, Matthew Steer, Brian Vernel, Irfan Shamji, David Pearse, Miles Barrow and Mike Noble.

The writer is Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom) Executive producers are George Ormond and Mark Pybus for The Forge and Stevie Lee for Runaway Fridge. Plus Jonny Richards for Disney+.

Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) directs and John Griffin produces.

Shardlake is “coming soon” to Disney+. We’ll keep you posted.