Daisy Edgar-Jones attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Award 2020 at Television Centre on July 31, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Under The Banner Of Heaven: Daisy Edgar-Jones’ new true crime series takes us inside a secretive polygamist sect

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Under The Banner Of Heaven stars Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda, a young faithful Mormon who is the victim of a brutal murder. 

She wowed us as Marianne in the BBC’s Normal People. Now, Daisy Edgar-Jones is gearing up to dazzle us with her acting talents once again in another adaptation – albeit one with a very different tone and vibe to that of Sally Rooney’s bestselling millennial romance.

Here’s what you need to know about Hulu’s Under The Banner Of Heaven.

What’s the plot of Under The Banner Of Heaven?

Based on Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction novel of the same name, the true crime series is set to explore the brutal 1984 murders of Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica. 

As per The Salt Lake Tribune, it was later revealed that Brenda’s brothers-in-law – Ron Lafferty, a self-professed prophet, and Dan Lafferty – had killed her because, as a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she disagreed with their fundamentalist views and refused to accept that Ron was a prophet.

The case gained substantial publicity at the time due to the murderers’ claims that the killings were the result of a “divine revelation” – or, in other words, that their God had instructed them to commit murder.

“Brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty insist they were commanded to kill [their sister-in-law Brenda] by God [in this] meticulously researched, bone-chilling narrative of polygamy, savage violence and unyielding faith,” explains the book’s synopsis.

Andrew Garfield arrives at The 64th Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on November 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Andrew Garfield will star opposite Daisy Edgar-Jones in Under The Banner Of Heaven.

Much like the novel, the TV series aims to offer audiences “an incisive look inside isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities in America,” following a devout detective whose faith is tested as he investigates the savagery surrounding Brenda’s death.

Who stars in Under The Banner Of Heaven?

Edgar-Jones stars as Brenda Lafferty, the young faithful whose brutal murder seems to be connected to an esteemed Utah family’s spiral into LDS fundamentalism and their distrust in the government.

Andrew Garfield, meanwhile, will play committed detective and LDS elder Pyre, who begins to question some of the church’s teachings through his contact with a suspected murderer.

No other casting details have been released so far.

What are people saying about Under The Banner Of Heaven?

Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black is signed on to executive produce the series, and has been trying to get this story into production for over a decade.

Speaking to Deadline about the project, he says: “After so many years of work, I’m incredibly grateful to Imagine and FX for their patience with and commitment to bringing this story to screen.

“Raised in the LDS faith, my hope is that this true-crime thriller might shed light on the horrific brutalities perpetrated in the name of God in our own backyards.”

Gina Balian, president of originals at FX, adds: “Dustin Lance Black is a gifted storyteller and the perfect artist to adapt Jon Krakauer’s gripping novel for FX.

“Lance joins an incredible creative team led by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard at Imagine Television who have been passionate about telling this story with him for years. We are thrilled that David Mackenzie has come aboard as a director and to have Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones star in Under The Banner Of Heaven.”

Author Krakauer, meanwhile, has described the announcement as an “interesting development” in the 10-year long battle to bring his book to the screen.

“Looking forward to seeing it,” he added in his Instagram post, which can be seen above.

When and where can we watch Under The Banner Of Heaven?

Filming has yet to begin on the limited series, which will launch in the USA on FX on Hulu. Considering Channel 4’s longstanding relationship with Hulu (here’s looking at you, The Handmaid’s Tale), it is likely that UK audiences will be offered the chance to tune in to Under The Banner Of Heaven via the terrestrial channel several weeks after its overseas release.

We will bring you more details as and when they become available.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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