(ABC4) – Andrew Garfield’s new show “Under the Banner of Heaven” has not premiered yet but is already raising eyebrows.
Based on the book of the same name by Jon Krakauer, the show covers the 1984 Utah murder of Brenda Lafferty and her infant daughter Erica.
Andrew Garfield will be portraying Jeb Pyre, the main detective of the case. It’s notable that Garfield’s character is completely fictional.
The book and show both go into the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While Brenda Lafferty and her family were members of the church, her killers, Ron and Dan Lafferty believed in a fundamentalist version of the church.
Many members of the church have spoken out against the book and its contents since it first was printed in 2003. Mike Otterson, director of Media Relations with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said:
“Krakauer’s portrayal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is utterly at odds with what I — and millions like me — have come to know of the Church, its goodness, and the decency of its people. This book is an attempt to tell the story of the so-called fundamentalist or polygamous groups in Utah, and to tie their beliefs to the doctrines and the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The result is a full-frontal assault on the veracity of the modern Church.”
One surprising thing to see in the trailer for the show is Latter-day Saints standing inside the temple in full ceremony clothes. The Church has said that its religious clothing should not be on public display but only worn inside Latter-day Saint temples.
While the overall theme of religion in the show can be controversial, the investigation into Brenda Lafferty’s murder is something that has long captured the public’s attention.
“Under the Banner of Heaven” will premiere on April 28 on Hulu.