Under the Banner of Heaven: UK Disney+ release date, cast with Andrew Garfield, trailer - is it a true story?

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The crime drama also stars Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones

The latest crime drama to hit our screens is based on a horrific double murder that shocked the world almost 40 years ago.

Under The Banner of Heaven, which has already aired in the United States, tells the story of a young mother and her baby daughter who were found murdered in a Mormon community in the US in the 1980s.

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The dramatisation of the tragic and disturbing circumstances which led to the murders is sure to be make for compelling - and uncomfortable - TV viewing.

The series also explores the Mormon church and the origins of the religion, which sets it apart from other true crime dramas, and will leave viewers with many questions.

So, exactly what is the show about, when does it air in the UK, and how can you watch it?

Here’s what you need to know.

Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda Lafferty in Disney+ crime drama Under the Banner of Heaven.Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda Lafferty in Disney+ crime drama Under the Banner of Heaven.
Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda Lafferty in Disney+ crime drama Under the Banner of Heaven. | Hulu

What is Under the Banner of Heaven?

Under the Banner of Heaven is a drama series which explores the murder of a mother and her young daughter - and her husband is the prime suspect.

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The story is set in a Mormon community called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah, United States.

The murder victim is shown to be welcomed by her new family, including her husband’s brothers, but that begins to change when she confronts the patriarchal community she’s found herself in.

The series uses a combination of flashbacks and present-day scenes to reveal what happened - albeit very slowly in true crime drama fashion.

The scenes focus on the victim, her family and the investigating officer at the helm of the murder case.

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Viewers will see the detective struggle with his growing inner turmoil around his religion as he works to uncover what actually happened to the two victims.

Is Under the Banner of Heaven based on a true story?

Yes, Under the Banner of Heaven is based on a true story.

It’s based on the brutal real-life 1984 murders of Brenda Lafferty (nee Brenda Wright), age 24, and her 15-month-old daughter Erica.

The TV series is also adapted from Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name.

Brenda Wright was born on 19 July 1960, in Logan, Utah.

Her parents were LaRae Hatch Wright and Dr. James Lewis Wright, and they were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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The family moved to New York when Brenda was only a few months old.

She went on to gain a broadcast journalism degree from Brigham Young University, Utah, and got a job at a daily news channel.

It was while studying at university in 1981 that Brenda met Allen Lafferty, the man who would later become her husband.

The pair married on the same weekend that Brenda graduated, and the couple welcomed their baby Erica in April 1983.

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Allen’s older brothers, Dan and Ron, disapproved of their relationship and were said to dislike Brenda’s strong opposition to their decision to practice polygamy.

Mother and daughter were killed almost 40 years ago, on 24 July 1984, and Ron and Dan Lafferty were charged with the murders of their sister-in-law and infant niece.

While on trial for the murders, Dan said he received a revelation from God to kill Brenda and her daughter.

The two brothers were found guilty, with Dan pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and multiple other offences, giving him two life sentences in prison.

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Dan is currently serving his life sentence in prison at the Utah State Prison in Point of the Mountain.

Ron had attempted suicide in jail, only to be sentenced to death after recovering. He spent 20 years on death row waiting to be executed but eventually died of natural causes in 2019.

Who is in the cast of Under the Banner of Heaven?

Leading the series as Detective Jeb Pyre is Andrew Garfield, best known for his role as Peter Parker in the Spiderman franchise (2012 to 2021)

Brenda Lafferty is played by Daisy Edgar-Jones, best known for playing Marianne in the 2020 BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s book of the same name, while her husband Allen is played by Billy Howle, best known for playing Edward Mayhew in On Chesil Beach (2017).

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Dan Lafferty is played by Wyatt Russell (Ford, 22 Jump Street, Cold in July), and brother Ron is played by Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation, Clash of the Titans).

Other members of the cast include Denise Gough, Chloe Pirrie, Seth Numrich, Adelaide Clemens, Rory Culkin, Sandra Seacat, and Gil Birmingham.

When is Under the Banner of Heaven released in the UK?

Under the Banner is released in the UK on Wednesday 27 July 2022.

How can I watch Under the Banner of Heaven?

You can watch all seven episodes of Under the Banner on Disney+.

All episodes last between 60 and 90 minutes.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is a trailer for Under the Banner of Heaven.

You can watch it below.

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