Andrew Garfield Has a Crisis of Faith in ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ Trailer (Video)

The limited series premieres on Hulu next month

Andrew Garfield grapples with a crisis of faith in the trailer for FX’s “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

The seven-episode limited series follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (played by “Normal People” star Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter in a suburb in Salt Lake Valley, Utah. Garfield plays Detective Jeb Pyre, who is tasked with investigating the murders.

As he tracks the events that transpired within the Lafferty family, he uncovers buried truths about the origins of the LDS religion and the violent consequences of unyielding faith.

During FX’s press panel for the series on Tuesday, Garfield said it was an easy decision to make this his next role. “I was kind of convinced right away that this was just an incredible group of creative people that were going to not only honor what Jon Krakauer wrote, but also honor Brenda Lafferty and Erica Lafferty and really unpick the rot at the core of what enabled such evil to take place,” he said.

In the trailer released Tuesday, Garfield’s Detective Pyre has tears in his eyes as he walks through the grisly murder scene with bloody handprints on the walls and baby toys still strewn about.

“The evidence points to things and to beliefs that I have only ever heard whisperings about,” he says, before he’s warned not to “go digging in the past.”

However, it appears he won’t be taking that advice. “What if this case isn’t just a husband who turned against his wife? What if tonight is just the first edge of a bone, finally working its way out of our own desert’s floor?” he ponders.

“Under the Banner of Heaven” is just one of Garfield’s recent projects where his character must wrestle with quite heavy questions of about faith and purpose. During Tuesday’s panel, the actor admitted that — while difficult to answer — they are musings he gravitates toward.

“I think questions of spirituality, questions of faith and doubt, questions of how to live one’s life, questions of the meaning of life…it’s only there that I think we start to really get into what we’re doing here — what we’re doing here in the time between action and cut,” he said, adding: “Films and TV shows and stories of spirituality and questioning faith deal with that very issue of: What do we do here while we are alive and how does our comprehension or our belief in what happens after or before — how does that affect how we live here? And I think that that just may be the most kind of juicy question that I can ask or I feel kind of compelled to ask as a storyteller and as a creative person, and just in my life personally as well.”

Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black created the series, inspired by the true crime bestseller from Jon Krakauer. Black, who grew up in a Mormon household, agreed with Garfield Tuesday when the star said that he felt the series was ultimately about “the pursuit of truth.”

“Is it ever comfortable to have a mirror held up to you into your beliefs? Likely not. But I think that there’s something to be learned. And in fact, there perhaps are changes that that could take place within the faith and within the communities. You know, this show might better the faith in these communities,” Black said. “So if the truth is offensive, I think some people may be offended. But I also think that once we’re empowered with truth, once we have good information, we can make better decisions. And I hope that’s what comes in this show.”

Starring alongside Garfield and Edgar-Jones are Sam Worthington, Denise Gough, Wyatt Russell, Billy Howle, Gil Birmingham, Adelaide Clemens, Rory Culkin, Seth Numrich, Chloe Pirrie and Sandra Seacat. 

Black is a showrunner and executive producer. Other EPs include Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Anna Culp for Imagine Television, Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan of Aggregate Films, and David Mackenzie and Gillian Berrie. The series is produced by FX Productions.

“Under the Banner of Heaven” premieres April 28 on Hulu.