Though he’s been seen in notable supporting roles on ABC’s black-ish, John Wick 2, and, more recently, in Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp, Laurence Fishburne is set to star in and executive produce the UFO anthology drama Rendlesham for Sony Pictures Television. The series is the latest effort to bring the search for extraterrestrial life and the question of “are we alone?” to television, though it sounds far less conspiratorial in tone than, say, The X-Files or even History’s upcoming Project Blue Book.
The series aims to focus on a real-life account of a UFO sighting, pulling from an incident from a U.S. air base near the show’s namesake, Rendlesham, Suffolk in 1980, wherein people reported they had seen an unidentified object in the sky, which then proceeded to characteristically speed off before anyone could properly document the “craft.” Basing the series on such an event will no doubt result in added interest when (and if) the series premieres, putting Rendlesham in the same league as such films as Communion and Fire In the Sky.
As reported by Deadline, Fishburne is set to play a retired American airman named Tyrone, who returns to the area to care for his wife’s ailing father, after having been stationed near Rendlesham during the original incident. The series, written by Doctor Who and Da Vinci’s Demons writer Joe Ahearne, will unfold during two timelines, one in 1980, during the original sightings, and one in 2020, 40 years later. So far, there’s no word on other cast members, or who will play a young Tyrone.
The series is being billed as an anthology, presumably one like American Horror Story in which a season will encompass an entire story. Whether or not this means future seasons of Rendlesham intend to focus on other close encounters remains to be seen. The same goes for Fishburne’s involvement in the series, should it move past the first season.
It sounds like an intriguing series, one bolstered by the presence of Fishburne and by the use of dual timelines to explore an unexplained event that’s since gone on to become notorious among UFO enthusiasts, and anyone else who still proudly proclaims they want to believe in beings from another world.
Rendlesham does not yet have a premiere date.