Stephen Frears — who directed "The Queen" — also joins his former collaborators Sheen and writer-executive producer Morgan on the project, which is slated to debut Nov. 8 at 9 PM ET on the cable network. The 75-minute drama also stars David Morrissey ("State of Play"). (Check listings for this future airings.)
"Based on actual events and parliamentary record," according to show materials, the HBO Films presentation "dramatizes the alleged secret pact between British politicians Tony Blair (Sheen) and Gordon Brown (Morrissey) which anchored them at the center of the British government for more than a decade, forming one of the most significant partnerships in British politics today."
"The Blair-Brown partnership is so close, it has often felt like Britain was being run by a two-headed Hydra," stated writer Morgan in an announcement. "Their extraordinary friendship and rivalry are the most enduring and fascinating story at the heart of British political life, their behind-the-scenes spats often threatening to become more interesting than the issues facing them as politicians."
The film makes its U.S. debut following its premiere in the U.K. in 2003. Morgan penned this work before his acclaimed film "The Queen." The scribe noted, "Writing about Blair in the way I did – not as parody, but as a serious, emotionally three dimensional character, gave me the confidence and the appetite to write 'The Queen' in the same way."
The cast of "The Deal" also includes Frank Kelly ("Father Ted") as John Smith, Elizabeth Berrington ("Nanny McPhee") as Cherie Blair, Paul Rhys ("The Ten Commandments") as Peter Mandelson and Dexter Fletcher ("Hotel Babylon") as Charlie Whelan. Granada Television and Channel 4 produced the film with executive producers Andy Harries and Peter Morgan. Christine Langan served as producer.
Sheen is currently reprising his role as David Frost (which he played in London and on Broadway) for the upcoming Ron Howard film adaptation of Frost/Nixon. Other credits include "Blood Diamond," "Underworld," "Kingdom of Heaven," "Laws of Attraction" and "Wilde."
Morrissey earned the Royal Television Society Award for Best Male Actor his role in "The Deal." The actor seen in the UK TV series "State of Play" has also appeared in the films "The Reaping," "Derailed," "Blackpool," "Basic Instinct 2" and "Hilary and Jackie."
In addition to "The Queen," Frears has also directed "The Grifters," "Dirty Pretty Things," "High Fidelity," "Mrs. Henderson Presents," "Dangerous Liaisons" and "Hero."
Morgan has also penned "The Last King of Scotland" and the HBO/Channel 4 film "Longford" and is currently at work on a film adaptation of the novel "The Other Boleyn Girl."
For more information on "The Deal," visit hbo.com/films.