The actor is taking on the role of the former Russian Federal Security Services and KGB officer – whose death from polonium poisoning in 2006 triggered a complex police investigation – in a four-part series called Litvinenko.
It comes fresh on the heels of his acclaimed portrayal of serial killer Dennis Nilsen in ITV drama Des.
Litvinenko – from ITV and Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) - tells the story of the Scotland Yard officers who worked for 10 years to prove who was responsible for the death.
It will also follow Litvinenko’s widow Marina, played by Margarita Levieva, who fought to persuade the British government to publicly name her husband’s killers.
Screenwriter George Kay said: “In late 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was a living witness to his own murder. He spent his dying days entrusting the Metropolitan Police with the details of what happened to him. It took those police and his remarkable widow Marina Litvinenko a decade to have those claims ratified.
"Their stamina, hard work and bravery are what make this not only an essential story of our times but a privilege to be asked to write.”
The series has the backing of many people involved in the investigation, including former Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons (Mark Bonnar) and Brent Hyatt (Neil Maskell) and Litvinenko’s family.
Polly Hill, ITV Head of Drama, said: “After David’s incredible performance as Dennis Nilsen I’m delighted he returns to ITV to play Alexander Litvinenko in the incredible story of his murder.
“George Kay’s scripts are brilliant and this is an important story that documents a long police investigation and a powerful campaign for justice by his wife Marina.”
Ms Hill said it was going to make a “compelling drama”, adding: “I am proud to have it on ITV.”
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