Tom Hughes (The Game), George MacKay (Pride), Johnny Vegas (Moone Boy), Kenneth Cranham (Maleficent) and Rita Tushingham (Doctor Zhivago) willl star in the films with an ensemble cast including Monica Dolan (W1A), Paul Ritter (No Offence), Simon Manyonda (Doctor Who), Johann Myers (Good Cop) and Montserrat Lombard (Ashes to Ashes) playing across all four of the films. Iconic Pulp frontman and solo artist Jarvis Cocker will create the score for the four stories, bringing his unique sound to the series.
The four adaptations will be Foreign Parts, a story of identity, the ghostly tales of Feeders & Eaters and Closing Time and the life-spanning story, Looking For The Girl, with the first three written by Kevin Lehane. The final story, Looking For The Girl, was adapted by the series directors, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. Set in London, these four 30-minute short stories will be characteristically dark and strange whilst also drawing on the deftly crafted characters’ human warmth and wit. Centring on the act of storytelling, viewers will be drawn into Neil’s intricately crafted world that moves seamlessly between reality and fantasy. Neil himself will appear in each film in an unusual way, with subtle nods to his wider work that Gaiman super-fans will be able to spot.
According to Gaiman : “Short stories traditionally do not get a lot of love from television. I’m really excited to see what the team are going to do and make with Likely Stories -they’ve given it real thought and it feels like it’s going to be something very, very special.”
Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, commented: “I’ve long admired the work of Neil Gaiman. He is a genius storyteller and an exceptional talent, and I’m thrilled to be bringing these adaptations of his work to Sky Arts. Under the British directorial powerhouse of Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Likely Stories is, in true Gaiman style, brilliantly bizarre and unexpected.”
Sally Woodward Gentle, executive producer and CEO of Sid Gentle Films, commented: “Likely Stories is like nothing else on TV, these utterly unique stories demand visual adaptations and we are delighted to be bringing them to Sky Arts. Each film, although self-contained, explores common themes of human consumption, destructive obsession and psychological cannibalism – all told with great humour, humanity and a completely astounding musical score.”