HBO releases its first official trailer for the three-part miniseries Gunpowder, starring Game of Thrones' Kit Harington as Robert Catesby, one of the conspirators who, along with Guy Fawkes, plotted to blow up the House of Lords and assassinate King James I. Although the series already aired in the UK in October (if you're an international reader who's already seen the show, we ask that you kindly not post any spoilers specific to the miniseries), the event was acquired by HBO for obvious reasons, with the premium channel set to premiere it later in December.
The miniseries aims to turn the plot against the king into a high-stakes thriller, and the trailer certainly suggests it succeeds on that front. The visuals are striking with what looks to be high production values and some stylish cinematography that shows off Harington's character engaging in a bit of sword (naturally) and gunplay. Playing up the historical miniseries' action elements will likely help fuel audience interest, especially diehard Game of Thrones fans who like their Harington gloomy and ready for a fight.
In addition to Harington, though, Gunpowder offers a great cast with Liv Tyler as Anne Vaux, Mark Gatiss as Sir Robert Cecil, and Tom Cullen as Guy Fawkes, the name that's perhaps most closely associated with the Gunpowder Plot. For his part, Gunpowder marks another period drama turn for Cullen, who was previously seen in Downton Abbey and can be seen in History's Templar Knight drama Knightfall next month as well.
Harington not only stars and serves as a producer on the miniseries, but the actor also says he's a direct descendent of the historical figure he's playing (whether or not people scrutinized the real Catesby's hair and abs to the degree they do Harington's is still up for debate, though). Expanding into producing material that interests and offers him a leading role is further evidence of the influence and enormous popularity of Game of Thrones. While Harington's co-stars have all gone on to appear in Hollywood tentpoles like Terminator: Genisys, X-Men: Apocalypse and the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants, Harington has stuck mostly to smaller films (the disastrous disaster movie Pompeii notwithstanding) like MI-5, Brimstone, and the underrated Andy Samberg Tennis spoof, 7 Days in Hell.
The material for Gunpowder is certainly compelling, and reviews coming out of the UK have marked it as a surprisingly dark and violent offering for a television miniseries, so it seems that while Harington is moving from fantasy to historical fiction, it shouldn't be too much of a shock for his fans.
Gunpowder premieres on Thursday, December 18 on HBO.