We’re no strangers to seeing film and TV crews taking up residence on the streets of Manchester, and today it was announced a new Netflix drama The Stranger will begin filming in and around the city in March.

The eight-part series is based on the Harlan Coben mystery thriller novel of the same name and will star Richard Armitage as the lead character Adam Price.

“I could barely contain my excitement reading Harlan Coben’s The Stranger; a nail-biting thriller with a huge beating heart and a dash of social commentary for extra bite,” says Richard, 47, who viewers will recognise from the long-running TV show Spooks and Peter Jackson’s trilogy The Hobbit.

Adam’s a father to two sons, one-half of a watertight marriage and leading what he perceives to be the perfect life. But everything’s turned on its head when a stranger sits next to him in a bar one night and tells him a devastating secret about his wife.

He soon finds himself tangled in something far darker than his wife’s deception as he’s sent on a collision course with a deadly conspiracy. He realises that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives, it will end them.

The Stranger is the third collaboration for Manchester’s Red Production Company, Harlan Coben and Netflix following the success of 2016’s The Five and 2018’s Safe, which starred Dexter’s Michael C. Hall and was also filmed in Manchester.

Danny Brocklehurst, who worked on both The Five and Safe, will return to serve as lead writer and executive producer.

“It’s fantastic to reunite with Netflix, Harlan and RED for another complex, emotional thriller,” says Danny who lives in Heaton Moor and has worked on the likes of Clocking Off, Shameless and Ordinary Lies since he swapped journalism for screenwriting.

“Richard Armitage is perfect for the role of Adam, and I can’t wait to bring our binge-able new drama to life. I’m thrilled to be returning to work with Nicola Schindler and the brilliant creative team she has assembled.”

The founder and executive producer of RED Production Company, Nicola’s produced Queer as Folk, Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax in the 21 years since she set the company up and is equally pleased with the reunion.

“There is a real appetite for contained dramas, and Harlan is an absolute master of keeping the audience guessing and gripped to the edge of their seats with his incredible storytelling. The Stranger is another really intriguing premise, and with this amazing cast to bring these complex characters to life, audiences are in for a real treat.”

Photo: Paul Heyes Photography Limited

Although Harlan’s the author of thirty novels, including Fool Me Once, Tell No One and No Second Chance, which are published in 43 languages around the globe, the acclaimed novelist describes The Stranger as one of the most demanding books he’s ever undertaken.

The Stranger was one of my most challenging novels, and definitely the most twisted,” says Harlan, who will act as the series creator and executive producer.

“When I wrote it, I never imagined that I’d be part of a ‘dream team’ of extraordinary talent bringing it to life.  I can’t wait to reunite with Danny, Nicola, and Netflix on this remarkable project.”

As filming’s yet to commence, there is no launch date yet – but Larry Tanz, vice president of content acquisition at Netflix, believes we’re in for a treat when it does.

“We’re proud to bring Harlan’s riveting rollercoaster of a novel to the screen with this expert team of storytellers,” he says.  

“With Harlan, Danny and RED behind the camera and Richard in front of it, Netflix members around the world will be captivated by this gripping mystery.”

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