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Anatomy Of A Scandal Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

"Big Little Lies" creator David E. Kelley is working on yet another television series — this time in collaboration with the former "House of Cards" showrunner Melissa James Gibson in a series for Netflix. As reported by Deadline last year, the new project, titled "Anatomy of a Scandal," is based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Sarah Vaughan about a scandal amongst privileged Brits. The series will have six total episodes. Taking on an anthology format, it is noted that potential future seasons will focus on different scandals in a similar vein to "A Very English Scandal," which aired its first season in 2018 and has a second on the way.

Along with "Big Littles Lies," Kelley has created nearly 30 television shows since the late 1980s, including recent shows like "Goliath," "The Undoing" and "Nine Perfect Strangers." He also has two other shows in the works besides "Anatomy of a Scandal" — HBO's "Love and Death" and "The Lincoln Lawyer" for Netflix (via IMDb). Gibson, originally a playwright, is fairly new to the television format, with credits on just "House of Cards" and "The Americans" prior to the upcoming "Anatomy of a Scandal" (via Playwrights Horizons, IMDb). Both Kelley and Gibson will serve as showrunners, writers and executive producers. According to Deadline, S.J. Clarkson is set to direct all episodes of "Anatomy of a Scandal." Clarkson has been directing TV since the early 2000s — her previous credits include "Succession," "Jessica Jones," "Orange is the New Black" and "Dexter" (via IMDb).

Here's everything else we know so far about the upcoming drama series "Anatomy of a Scandal."

When will Anatomy of a Scandal be released?

As of now, the exact release date for "Anatomy of a Scandal" has not yet been announced. However, we do know that filming for the series began in October of 2020 in the UK, as reported by What's on Netflix. Additionally, the Oxford Mail reported that the series was filming in Oxford, UK in March of 2021. It does look like we can narrow down the timeline a bit based on a tweet by the "Anatomy of a Scandal" author Sarah Vaughan. On November 10, Vaughan tweeted a photo of a clip from The Times newspaper for that day that showed a blurb about the upcoming series, including that it is set to premiere on Netflix "next year." Vaughan tweeted, "Thanks for the shoutout to #anatomyofascandal in today's ⁦@thetimes."

To try to narrow down the show's release date further, we can look at Kelley's most recent project to have been released, "Nine Perfect Strangers," as an example timeline. Filming for "Nine Perfect Strangers" wrapped up in December of 2020, as its star, Nicole Kidman, confirmed in an Instagram post. The series then premiered on Hulu in August of 2021. Assuming that "Anatomy of a Scandal" is either finished filming or will wrap up soon — considering it began production over one year ago — then we can probably expect to see the series premiere on Netflix either late summer or early fall of 2022.

Who will be in Anatomy of a Scandal?

In September of 2020, Deadline reported that three leads had been cast for "Anatomy of a Scandal" — Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery and Rupert Friend. Miller recently starred in the Showtime miniseries "The Loudest Voice," as well as the films "21 Bridges" in 2019 and "Wander Darkly" in 2020. She will be playing the character Sophie Whitehouse, whose picturesque life is blown up by a scandal involving her husband, James Whitehouse, played by Friend. Previously, Friend appeared in the 2018 Paramount+ series "Strange Angel" and appeared in Wes Anderson's most recent film, "The French Dispatch."

Opposite the Whitehouse family, Dockery is playing Kate Woodcroft, the lawyer taking on the cast against James. The actress is best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley on the British drama "Downton Abbey," which ran from 2010 to 2015 (and will return next year for a second feature film, "Downton Abbey: A New Era"). In January of 2021, it was also announced via Deadline that Ben Radcliffe would play the younger version of Friend's character, James. A relative newcomer, Radcliffe's most recent credit is the CW sci-fi show "Pandora" from 2019 to 2020. The "Anatomy of a Scandal" cast also features another "Downton Abbey" alum, Jonathan Coy, who played George Murray on the British drama, as well as Josette Simon ("The Girlfriend Experience"), Violet Verigo ("New Skool of Life") and Rita McDonald Damper ("Britannia"), amongst others (via IMDb).

What will Anatomy of a Scandal be about?

According to the logline on the show's IMDb page, "Anatomy of a Scandal" will delve into "a sexual consent scandal amongst British privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake." But by looking at the Goodreads page of the Sarah Vaughan book that the series is based on, we can gather a bit more information about what to expect out of the show's plot. 

According to Goodreads, the novel centers on Sophie Whitehouse (Sienna Miller), a woman with a great life with her loving husband, James (Rupert Friend), and their two kids. Sophie and James have a bit of a high profile marriage because James is such a successful public figure. But when James is accused of a crime — which Deadline describes as rape — their life begins to unravel. Sophie believes James when he says that he didn't do it, and she wants nothing more than for James to be proven innocent so that they can return to their normal lives. But Kate (Michelle Dockery), the experienced lawyer hired to prosecute the case, fully believes James is guilty and is determined to prove it.

The Goodreads description continues, "Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience?" We can't wait to see how the drama-packed "Anatomy of a Scandal" will play out on screen when it premieres on Netflix next year.