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The upcoming UFO drama series Blue Book has found its lead actor, and it’s someone who’s very familiar with conspiracies. Game of Thrones alum Aidan Gillen has been confirmed as the star of the forthcoming scripted show from the History Channel, which is being executive produced by Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis. It’s one of several projects that the GOT actor is working on, and also looks to be arguably one of the most interesting.
The commission of the series by History was announced back in May, and is part of the channel’s concerted effort to provide further quality scripted drama like Vikings , alongside its documentaries and popular reality shows. This was an especially attractive project to History with Zemeckis already attached as the EP. In addition to him, the director of Maleficent Robert Stromberg is also committed to shoot the first two episodes of the series.
Blue Book has been created and written by screenwriter David O’Leary, with A+E Studios and Zemeckis’ ImageMovers producing. It’s based on the real-life investigations that the U.S. Air Force undertook into the many UFO sightings that were reported in the 1950s and 1960s. Assigned under the collective name of ‘Project Blue Book’, they remain a fascinating snapshot into the way that authorities dealt with the phenomenon prior to the computer age.
Deadline reports that Gillen will be playing the role of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who is a brilliant astrophysicist. He’s also a devout family man, and a confirmed skeptic in regards to the existence of UFOs, which leads him to being recruited to Project Blue Book as the Chief Scientific Advisor. The first season of the show will run 10 episodes and will be based on genuine reports, embellished with historical events at the time and appropriate character details. Zemeckis previously stated that the reason he was drawn to the project was due to its “ perfect fusion of historical fact and extraordinary entertainment.”
It’s actually not the first time that TV has covered the exploits of Project Blue Book. Project U.F.O. was a TV anthology series that screened on NBC from 1978 to 1979. It only ran for two seasons and consisted of a total of 26 episodes. Sourced from the same files, the show used simple effects and had the leads as no-nonsense military officers who mostly debunked the sightings they investigated, although the occasional unexplained incident would scrape through. Of course in later years, the department would go on to inspire facets of shows like The X-Files and NBC’s ’90s conspiracy show Dark Skies .
Gillen has certainly been keeping busy since his tour of duty in Westeros as Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish. The actor is currently filming the much-anticipated Freddie Mercury life story Bohemian Rhapsody, playing the role of Queen’s manager. He’s also just finished work on a biopic of the very influential Irish comedian Dave Allen for the BBC, and he will also appear in the new season of Peaky Blinders. With him reportedly playing a skeptic and a scientist in Blue Book, we can anticipate plenty of verbal confrontations and a sturdy portrayal of an educated man exploring the impossible in simpler times. There are no details yet as to when Blue Book is expected to premiere, but we’ll bring you more news as we get it.