Aidan Turner and Ella Lily Hyland (Silent Roar) are teaming up as coach and player for Prime Video‘s new tennis drama Fifteen-Love, according to Variety. It’s the first series from the mind of Hania Elkington, and it follows a rising tennis star’s relationship with the coach that helped her to the top. Not everything is as it seems on the surface though, as allegations change the dynamic of their union to the public.
Fifteen-Love is a fictional story that centers on young tennis prodigy Justine Pearce (Hyland), whose rapid ascension to stardom in Grand Slam Tennis caught everyone off guard. With help from her coach Glenn Lapthorn (Turner), she came remarkably close to a win at one of the biggest stages in all of tennis — the French Open. Upon reaching the semi-final match, however, she suffered a devastating injury that would cut her career tragically short. Five years later, at 22 years old, she’s returned to her old tennis academy Longwood to work as a therapist, but she once again shocks the world when she comes out with serious allegations against her former coach. After hearing her story, the context of her and Glenn’s seemingly harmonious relationship has changed, and the public has to reconsider their success together.
Elkington both writes and executive produces alongside Jake Lushington (Vigil) for World Productions. Eva Riley (Perfect Ten) and Toby MacDonald (Ragdoll) serve as directors with Natasha Romaniuk (The Suspect) producing. Elkington is a relative newcomer on the scene with her only writing credits coming with several episodes of The Innocents and an episode of The Essex Serpent. Despite it being her first series behind the wheel, Turner and Hyland had nothing but love for her story. Turner said in a statement:
Hania’s scripts and characters are so incredibly layered and nuanced, tackling themes and issues within the world of sport that I don’t feel have been explored on screen before. I am excited to take on the complex role of Glenn and can’t wait to work with Ella, Hania, World Productions, Prime Video and the rest of the cast to bring this important story to life.
Hyland added in a separate statement, “When I read ‘Fifteen-Love’ I was struck instantly by how important and unique the story felt. Hania’s writing is looking at the greyer areas in relationship and power dynamics. Justine is such a gorgeous, complicated character. I feel so lucky to be playing her and to be part of such a brave and bold team.”
Turner and Hyland will be joined in the series by Anna Chancellor (The Crown), Jessica Darrow (Encanto), Tom Varey (Ridley Road), Lorenzo Richelmy (Marco Polo), Manon Azem (Your Honour), Elizabeth Berrington (The Nevers), Amar Chadha-Patel (Willow), and Steffan Rhodri (House of Dragons) alongside a pair of newcomers in Maria Margarida Almeida and Harmony Rose-Bremner. Turner has built out a solid resume for himself with The Hobbit franchise standing as his most well-known appearance, though he most recently starred in the historical drama series Leonardo. Hyland, meanwhile, is earlier in her career, though she’s set to make her film debut in the upcoming Silent Roar.
Elkington explained her reasoning for wanting to create the series in her own statement, citing the growing influence of female athletes. She said:
The voice of women in sport has never been heard as loudly and clearly as over the last two years. From Simone Biles to Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu to Pam Shriver, the pressures and realities of being at the top of your game on the world stage are finally breaking through to us, making us look again at the price our young prodigies can pay for the goals they work so hard to achieve. Writing this drama, and the people I’ve met through my deep-dive into researching it, has been revelatory. I hope that ‘Fifteen-Love’ has the same effect on its audience, and can become another valuable part of this urgent, emerging story.
Fifteen-Love is currently shooting and will launch on Prime Video in the U.K. and Ireland next year.