Know about Andrew Garfield's latest miniseries - Under Banner of the Heaven
by Jaskiran Kaur | Thu, 28 Apr 2022 18:58:00 GMT
Under the Banner of Heaven by screenwriter Dustin Lance Black follows the disturbing revelations of the Mormon Church and related murders; Credits: Hollywood Reporter

Under the Banner of Heaven is a true crime story from 1984 that brings forward the tale of the horrific Lafferty murders. The victims of the crime included Brenda Lafferty and her daughter, only 15 months old. 

The series by FX originally premiered on Hulu on April 28 and follows Detective Jeb Pyre, played by Andrew Garfield. The Detective is in his search to bring justice to the murder victims as he tries to look for the truth behind those murders. Things take an unexpected turn when the role of the Mormon fundamentalism is revealed in the killings. 

The Hulu production is a limited series consisting of only 7 episodes and takes on a journey where the Detective tries to look for the motivations behind those murders along with how the killings could have impacted the community surrounding the two victims. 

Under the Banner of Heaven deals with the stories of real people and most of the characters in the show are strictly based on real people involved in the incident. To make the series truly authentic in its narration, screenwriter Dustin Lance spent immense time conducting research, teaching the depth of the incidents, and bringing back the genuine tale that reveals the truth behind the happenings of the 1984 murders. 

The series was also helped by the novel of the same name, Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, which earlier went on to explore the details of the crimes. Yet the screenwriter was adamant to find his own truth about the situation and use it to create his show. 

Series synopsis

Under the Banner of Heaven is an original limited series by FX originally based on the true-crime novel by Jon Krakauer, which features the same name. The story deals with the murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty, played by Daisy Edgar-Jones, and her daughter in the suburbs of Salt Lake Valley, Utah, back in 1984. 

Detective Jeb Pyre is extremely drawn toward the case, the character is played by Andrew Garfield known for Spider-Man. His investigation into the crime unravels the horrifying secrets behind the emergence of the LDS religion and what happens to the people who deny offering blind faith to the religious community. 

The results are undoubtedly violent and criminal. While things are simply hard to investigate, Pyre receives resistance from another front as he himself is a pledged Mormon believer. The revelations of the murders only make him question his own stance regarding his religion and it's fascinating to see him come to terms with many things at once. 

The screenwriter, Dustin Lance talked about the true-crime series and how the story mattered to him when speaking with Screen Rant. he shared how he found the details of the particular events of the series and how he feels highly privileged to have had the honor of working with the novelist Jon Krakauer, who first unearthed the events in his book. 

Sharing the difficulties that he had to face when making the series, Lance shared it was challenging to translate the events of the book as read into the events of a series. Not many books are made for adaptations and not all television series do justice to the books they are based on. 

And yet, he wanted to maintain that active connection of the viewer and the television series that a reader otherwise has with the book. For instance, if a reader goes through the events of the book, the book might give the backstory into the history of the Mormon Church. Hence, he wanted to give a similar insight into the Church's history with the book. 

Lance also revealed that he had actually first thought of adapting the book into a movie, but that idea did not play for him. There was not much that he could put into the film and still manage to tell the entire story. 

The entire tale of the Lafferty murders required a lot of detail and precision for the story to be understood and make a mark. Additionally, adding more in-depth details about the church and the slow unraveling of its secrets required its own time, which was not possible in a film. Hence, a series was the best option to understand the extent of the crimes that victimized the Laffertys. 

The writer admitted that it took him 10 years to understand that the story was more befitting of a series rather than a television production, along with the 10 years that took him to reach the depths of the secrets of the murders. 

While a lot of detail was provided in the book, he wanted to conduct his own research to do complete justice to the characters. It also made him look bad on the side of the Mormon church but he owed it to his art. 

He explained that he needed to carry out the investigation so that he could create a sense of connection for the viewers of the series. The story follows around in the head of the detective as he goes through his investigation in the case. Thus, all the past events deserved a special mention until the connection of the Church was found and things came to a close. 

In addition, the investigation spread over the particulars of the people who were involved in the crime and why they sought o such derogatory inhumane ways, including the murder of a child. Then, there is also the search for a potential list of other people who have died just this way and a probable outlook on other people who might be hurt.