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'The Fear Index': release date, cast, plot, trailer and everything we know about the new thriller starring Josh Hartnett

Josh Hartnett as Dr Alex Hoffman in 'The Fear Index'.
Josh Hartnett as Dr Alex Hoffman in 'The Fear Index'. (Image credit: Sky)

High stakes financial thriller series The Fear Index, based on the bestselling novel by Robert Harris, is coming to Sky Atlantic, with Penny Dreadful star Josh Hartnett heading up the cast. He plays an American physicist, who creates an AI-driven system that exploits fear in the financial markets and operates at lightning speed to make big returns. But everything starts spinning out of control on the day of the launch…

Here’s everything you need to know about The Fear Index on Sky Atlantic, including cast news, plot and first look pics…

'The Fear Index' release date

The Fear Index is a four-episode series  airing in the UK on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW  from Thursday February 10. All episodes will be available on Sky Box Sets from that air date. We'll update on the US release date and channel as soon we can.

Is there a trailer for 'The Fear Index'?

Yes a trailer for The Fear Index has been released by Sky. "Fear is driving the world like never before," says Josh’s character, Dr Alex Hoffman, at the beginning of the high-octane trailer. And fear is certainly something that threatens to overwhelm Alex when he realises someone is out to destroy his life. There are some high-speed car chases, falls from buildings and deadly explosions in the trailer, too, which also give a taste of the action-packed Sky Atlantic series. 

'The Fear Index' plot

The Fear Index kicks off in Geneva’s financial district where Dr Alex Hoffman is launching  an  AI-driven system  that  exploits fear in the financial markets, promising to make billions. But Alex’s  sanity is shaken when he’s  viciously  attacked by a man  who  knows  all  his security codes. After more unexplained occurrences, Alex becomes  convinced he’s being framed. But  as secrets  surface  from his past, will anyone believe that he isn’t just losing his mind? What follows is  a terrifying journey through the worst 24 hours  of  Alex’s life,  as he’s forced to question everything he thinks he knows, while also realising just how  destructive his AI-driven creation might be…

'The Fear Index' cast — Josh Hartnett

Josh Hartnett plays technology genius Dr Alex Hoffman,  who experiences a waking nightmare in the worst 24 hours of his life. He first found TV fame starring as Michael Fitzgerald in the 1990s US version of the British crime drama Cracker, but is best known on the small screen for starring as Ethan Chandler in the horror series Penny Dreadful. He’s also starred in plenty of famous films, including The Black Dahlia, Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down.

Dr Alex Hoffman fears for his life.

Dr Alex Hoffman fears for his life. (Image credit: Sky)

Leila Farzad plays Dr Alex Hoffman's wife.

Leila Farzad plays Dr Alex Hoffman's wife. (Image credit: SKy)

'The Fear Index' cast — who else is starring

Arsher Ali (The Ritual,  Informer) will play Hugo, Alex’s hedge fund business partner and best friend. Meanwhile, Leila Farzad (I Hate Suzie, Innocent) is his talented artist wife Gabby, and Grégory  Montel  (Call My Agent) is Detective Leclerc, who’s assigned to Alex’s intriguing case.

Arsher Ali plays Hugo.

Arsher Ali plays hedge fund manager Hugo in 'The Fear Index'. (Image credit: Sky)

Detective Leclerc in 'The Fear Index'.

Grégory  Montel as Detective Leclerc in 'The Fear Index'. (Image credit: Sky)

All about 'The Fear Index' author Robert Harris

Former journalist and author Robert Harris wrote The Fear Index in 2012. His debut novel however, was Fatherland, set in a world where the Nazis had won World War Two. It was an instant hit when it was published in 1992 and has since been made into a movie. 

His second novel Enigma was made into a film starring Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet and Tom Hollander, and his 1998 book Archangel was made into a BBC miniseries with James Bond star Daniel Craig playing the main character Professor Fluke Kelso who is searching for the diary of Joseph Stalin.   

Robert Harris went on to be a prolific writer of historical fiction and his bestsellers include Pompeii, V2 and Munich, which has just been made into a big-budget Netflix film Munich — The Edge of War starring Jeremy Irons and George MacKay.

Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s.