Hulu Orders Fertile Crescent, Syrian Civil War Drama Starring James Purefoy

Fertile Crescent heads to Hulu, with James Purefoy starring in the modern drama series set during the Syrian Civil War.

James Purefoy in Momentum; Starz Digital Media

Fertile Crescent will be Hulu’s next historical war drama series, this one set to cover a particular conflagration that’s ongoing, that of the Syrian Civil War.

Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for Fertile Crescent as an 8-episode drama, with James Purefoy set as its star. The series is set against the post-Arab-Spring uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad; a conflict that was not only complicated by the rise of ISIS in the region, but – for a time – even became a Cold War-esque battleground of international brinkmanship between the U.S. and Russia.

With the Syrian Civil War as the backdrop, the drama will be seen through the eyes of Antoine, a young French man searching for his estranged, presumed-dead sister. As the official description explains, “While unraveling the mystery, piece by piece, Antoine ends up joining forces with a unit of Kurdish female fighters, fierce women and ISIS’ biggest nightmare, and travels with them in ISIS occupied territory. Antoine’s journey crosses paths with adventurers and anarchists, spies and innocent victims, and provides a unique look on the tragic events in Syria, and the way they affect the entire world.”

AS Hulu’s VP of Content Development Jordan Helman lauds in a statement:

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“From the moment we read the initial scripts, we were blown away and leaped at the opportunity to jump onboard.  We look forward to partnering with this incredibly talented team to bring this bold and provocative vision to life.”

Fertile Crescent is the creation of Maria Feldman and Eitan Mansuri with writers Amit Cohen, Ron Leshem and Xabi Molia. The series is the co-production of Haut et Court TV, Masha Productions, Spiro Films, Versus Production and Fremantle. Feldman will produce via Masha Productions, with Mansuri and Jonathan Doweck for Spiro Films, Caroline Benjo, Simon Arnal and Carole Scotta for Haut et Court TV and Christian Vesper for Fremantle. Additionally, all eight episodes will be directed by Oded Ruskin, known from Amazon’s imminently-returning crime drama, Absentia, and Israeli spy thriller series False Flag.

As co-creators Cohen and Leshem express of the project:

“We feel fortunate to write about a world of brave women who change history, and to deal with captivating personal stories, while exploring one of the most tragic, heartbreaking events in recent decades. We are extremely excited to work on this show with such a talented, devoted and passionate team from all over the world.”

This will be an intriguing starring role for veteran English actor James Purefoy, who, besides a steady stream of film roles, has been fielding TV work, with recent guest spots on Netflix surprise hit Sex Education, notably with runs on Hap and Leonard, Altered Carbon, The Following and The Philanthropist after a 2007 breakthrough as Mark Antony on HBO’s Rome.

Purefoy will be joined in the Fertile Crescent cast by French actors such as Félix Moati (The French Dispatch), Mélanie Thierry (La Douleur) Souheila Yacoub, Joe Ben Ayed, James Krishna Floyd, Dean Ridge, Julia Faure, François Caron and Céline Samie.

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.