The Fear Index: First look at Josh Hartnett in Robert Harris’ financial cyber-thriller

Hollywood star Hartnett takes on another high-profile TV role in this thrilling adaptation of the bestselling author’s tale of intrigue and conspiracy in the financial world.

By Katie Archer Published: 12 January 2022 - 8.01pm
Getty Josh Hartnett

Fans of Robert Harris’ work won’t want to miss this exciting new adaptation of his bestselling thriller, The Fear Index.

Delving into the murky world of financial markets and dangerous conspiracies, the cast is led by Hollywood star Josh Hartnett and promises edge-of-your-seat viewing.

Here’s all you need to know about what happens, who stars in it, and when you can expect to see it on TV.

What is The Fear Index?

Josh Harnett in The Fear Index

This thrilling four-part Sky Original adaptation is based on the Robert Harris novel of the same name, bringing with it legions of fans who’ll be keen to see how the world of Dr Alex Hoffman (Josh Hartnett, above) is reimagined for the screen.

Alex is a genius computer scientist who is poised to make a killing in the financial markets alongside his hedge fund business partner and best friend Hugo.

Together, they have created VIXAL-4, an AI-driven program that exploits fear in the markets and moves at lightning-fast speeds to bring its investors huge returns.

But just as the pair prepare to launch to investors, they are plunged into a nightmare day that has them and everyone else questioning Alex’s sanity.

Arsher Ali Brian de Rivera Simon/Getty
Arsher Ali, who plays Hugo in The Fear Index

In Geneva’s financial district, Alex encounters a man who inexplicably knows all of his security codes, and as more strange incidents occur he begins to suspect that he is being framed.

However, as secrets from his past begin to surface, the questions about Alex losing his mind grow even greater.

Detective Leclerc struggles to work out the former CERN scientist, his artist wife Gabby finally seems to have reached the end of her patience, and all Hugo cares about is the billions he stands to lose if they don’t sort out their launch.

Alex finds himself stuck in a lonely and confusing existence with high stakes and a mystery that’s almost impossible to crack, even for him.

Who stars in The Fear Index?

Gregory Montel Laurent Viteur/Getty
Gregory Montel, who plays Detective Leclerc in The Fear Index

Josh Hartnett features as lead character Dr Alex Hoffman. The actor is best known for the films Pearl Harbor, 40 Days and 40 Nights, and Lucky Number Slevin, as well as his star turn in TV series Penny Dreadful.

Arsher Ali (The Ritual, Informer) plays best friend Hugo, Leila Farzad (I Hate Suzie, Innocent) is Alex’s wife Gabby, and Gregory Montel (Call My Agent) plays Detective Leclerc.

Is there a trailer?

There is. Get a taste of the tension by watching the trailer for The Fear Index:

Who is Robert Harris?

Robert Harris David Levenson/Getty

Robert Harris is an English writer and author of 14 novels and historical novels, many of which have been adapted for film and TV.

They include his debut novel Fatherland, made into a film starring Rutger Hauer and Miranda Richardson, Enigma, which starred Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet, and Archangel, which in 2005 became a BBC mini-series starring Daniel Craig.

His 2017 novel Munich has recently been made into a film starring Jeremy Irons and George MacKay.

A former journalist, Harris has also published non-fiction works on The Falklands Crisis, Germ Warfare, former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, and the Hitler Diaries fraud.

When is The Fear Index on TV?

Fear Index will launch in February 2002 on Sky Atlantic and NOW.

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