David Morrissey heads up the cast of two new crime thrillers commissioned by Sky, based on the novels by Mark Billingham

David Morrissey has signed up to star in two crime thrillers, Thorne: Sleepyhead and Thorne: Scaredy Cat, which will premiere on UK TV channel Sky1 in the autumn before being released theatrically by ContentFilm.

Morrissey’s production company Stagereel is co-producing the dramas, which will first air in the autumn as a six part drama series, together with Sky1 and Canada’s Cité Amérique.

The actor will take the title role of DI Tom Thorne in the crime thrillers which are based on Mark Billingham’s novels and have been adapted for the screen by Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton. Natasha McElhone, Aiden Gillen and Eddie Marsan have also signed up to star.

Production on Thorne:Sleepyhead, which is being directed by Life And Death Of Peter Sellers director Stephen Hopkins, commenced in London today. The shoot will take in various locations across the capital including Whitechapel and Shoreditch. Scaredy Cat is due to begin principal photography in April.

The films, which were commissioned by Huw Kennair-Jones for Sky1, will air in the autumn as a six part drama series before being released theatrically worldwide by ContentFilm, excluding the UK and Australia.

“I am delighted to be bringing Tom Thorne to the screen,” said Morrissey. “Having been a fan of Mark Billingham’s books for years, it’s a great privilege to be able to play such an exciting character.