Andrew Garfield is coming for an Emmy in new ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ trailer

Fresh off his second Oscar nomination for “Tick, Tick… Boom!”, Andrew Garfield could earn his first Emmy nomination later this year for his new FX limited series “Under the Banner of Heaven,” a show that was a “no-brainer” for him to do.

From Oscar winners Dustin Lance Black, who wrote the show, and Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the seven-part series, which will stream exclusively on Hulu and dropped a new trailer on Tuesday (watch above), is inspired by the bestselling nonfiction book of the same by Jon Krakauer. It follows the events that led to the 1984 murders of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter, Erica Lafferty, in Salt Lake City suburb. Garfield plays Detective Jeb Pyre, a devout Mormon who begins to question his faith as he learns more about the Lafferty family and uncovers some shocking truths about the origins of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

“The evidence points to things and to beliefs that I have only ever heard whisperings about,” he says in the trailer.

During FX’s virtual panel for the series on Tuesday, Garfield, who’s currently in third place in our Emmy odds, said he’d been a fan of the book, which he found “so deeply fascinating,” since its 2003 release and had long wondered when it would be adapted into a film or TV show before getting a call years later from Black, who was raised Mormon, Howard and Grazer, all of whom serve as executive producers.

“I thought, ‘This is the perfect team to do it.’ And especially with Dustin being so connected to the subject matter and material,” the actor said. “It’s just an incredible group of creative people that were not only going to honor what Jon Krakauer wrote but also honor Brenda Lafferty and Erica Lafferty and really unpick the rot of the core of what enabled such evil to take place. And they weren’t going to sensationalize anything and they were going to make it a step-by-step understanding about how something so horrific could come to pass. So for me it was kind of a no-brainer because of the people involved and the subject matter just interested me deeply. It’s such an important story for human beings to look at — how we create the myths that we live within and how they infect and affect our behavior.”

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Howard was similarly fascinated by the book. “I’m always intrigued by family stories, family dynamics, groups of people in general trying to accomplish something, but families always resonate with me. Here’s a story about a very remarkable, high-achieving group of people, and yet their lives transform in a very tragic way. This was a story of transformation that I felt could happen to a lot of people in a lot of faiths,” he explained. “It’s so much about the way our human beliefs systems can be distorted and manipulated to justify acts of oppression and violence.” The filmmaker initially planned on adapting the book into a film in 2011 but eventually came to the conclusion that they couldn’t tell the whole story in two hours and change.

“On top of that, Dustin was doing his own research and learning more and more about it. A few years ago, we all looked at each other and said, ‘Maybe we should find a home for this at a company where we wouldn’t have to edit, we could develop, we could benefit from everything we’ve learned,” Howard shared. “And we landed with John Landgraf at FX. And it’s been a tremendous fulfillment creatively and narratively of what I’d always hoped this story could convey.”

“Under the Banner of Heaven” also stars Sam Worthington, Denise Gough, Wyatt Russell, Billy Howle, Gil Birmingham, Adelaide Clemens, Rory Culkin, Seth Numrich, Chloe Pirrie and Sandra Seacat. The series premieres Thursday, April 28 on Hulu.

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