Doctor Who’s Matt Smith stars as Bunny Munro in Sky’s adaptation of Nick Cave’s tragi-comic novel of failure and grief

Sky announced today that BAFTA and Emmy-nominated former Doctor Who Matt Smith  will star in and executive produce a Sky Original adaptation of Nick Cave’s darkly comic novel The Death of Bunny Munro in the titular role. Somewhere Boy’s Peter Jackson has adapted the six-part series while  Isabella Eklöf (Industry, Holiday) directs. Cave also serves as Executive Producer.

Following his wife Libby’s suicide, sex addict, door-to-door beauty product salesman and self-professed lothario Bunny Munro finds himself saddled with a young son and only a loose concept of parenting. Together with nine-year-old Bunny Junior he embarks on an epic and increasingly out-of-control road trip across Southern England. Over the course of the journey, the two struggle to contain their grief in very different ways.

Bunny bounces from one sales pitch to the next, trying to seduce any woman he meets. Meanwhile Bunny Jr kills time talking to the ghost of his mother. He also deals with the dawning realisation that his dad isn’t just fallible, he’s an absolute mess. As Bunny Sr starts to unravel, he realises he must do something to rescue his son from his own outdated notions of what it is to be a man. The Death of Bunny Munro is a darkly comic and unflinching modern-day parable. But it’s also a tender portrait of the relationship between father and son.

 

Matt Smith Doctor Who Eleventh Doctor Desert Island Discs
Former Doctor Who Matt Smith (c) BBC Radio

Matt Smith calls Bunny Munro “a brilliant exploration of love, grief, and chaos”

The search for an actor to play the young Bunny Junior is already underway, with the hope of uncovering an exciting new talent.

Blogtor Who readers will naturally best know Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. Since then he’s starred as Prince Philip in The Crown, and most recently in the folk horror film Starve Acre with Morfydd Clark. He’s also currently Prince Daemon Targaryen in HBO’s hugely successful House of the Dragon. It’s as Daemon that he received a Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Critics Choice Award nomination, along with the show winning a Golden Globe for Best Television Series.

Matt Smith said: To work alongside Nick Cave on The Death of Bunny Munro feels like a great honour. It’s a brilliant exploration of love, grief, and chaos. At its heart a deep, difficult, and tender story about a father and son, coping with loss and change. Clerkenwell Films and Sky feels like the perfect home to make such a bold story and Pete has delivered such wonderful scripts, both funny and heart breaking in equal measure. I can’t wait to collaborate with Isabella and begin the journey with everyone at Clerkenwell.

 

Nick Cave at a reading of The Death of Bunny Munro Photographer: David Shankbone
Nick Cave at a reading of The Death of Bunny Munro Photographer: David Shankbone

Nick Cave says he “can think of nobody better than Matt Smith to play” Bunny

The author himself was quick to praise Smith’s casting. “Finally, someone with the courage to take on this unholy tale,” he said. “I am thrilled that Sky and Clerkenwell Films are bringing Bunny to life, in all his flawed glory, and I can think of nobody better than Matt Smith to play him.”

Petra Fried, Managing Director, Clerkenwell Films said: “We’re so excited to be working with Pete, Matt, Nick, Isabella and Sky on The Death of Bunny Munro, a timely tale about masculinity, dark and twisted but also full of humour and humanity. Pete’s scripts brilliantly capture Nick’s creation, and we can’t wait to see Matt bring this singular anti-hero to life.”

The Death of Bunny Munro is produced by Clerkenwell Films, who are wholly owned by BBC Studios, in association with Sky Studios. Commissioning Editor, Manpreet Dosanjh, is Executive Producer for Sky Studios. Petra Fried, Ed Macdonald and Emily Harrison are Executive Producers for Clerkenwell Films. Matt Smith, Nick Cave, Pete Jackson and Isabella Eklöf also serve as Executive Producers. The Producer is Matthew Mulot (Ghosts).

The series will begin filming in Spring 2024 across the south of England and will be available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in the UK. NBCUniversal Global Distribution handle international sales of the series on behalf of Sky Studios.

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