Kenneth Branagh will play U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a new Sky TV series detailing Britain’s muddled response to the COVID-19 crisis. The five-part series will be directed and written by Michael Winterbottom.
Entitled “This Sceptred Isle,” the show will be produced by Fremantle, Richard Brown’s Passenger and Winterbottom’s Revolution Films. The project — which was announced over the summer but had yet to secure a broadcast partner and announce its casting — will chart the events surrounding Johnson and his government in the face of the first wave of the global pandemic.
“The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will be remembered forever,” said Winterbottom. “A time when the country came together to battle an invisible enemy. A time when people were more aware than ever of the importance of community. Our series weaves together countless true stories — from Boris Johnson in Number 10 to front line workers around the country — chronicling the efforts of scientists, doctors, care home workers and policy makers to protect us from the virus.”
Winterbottom has co-written the series with Kieron Quirke, and will direct all five episodes. He will also executive produce alongside Richard Brown (Passenger). Melissa Parmenter (Revolution Films) will produce alongside Josh Hyams and Anthony Wilcox. Tim Shipman, political editor of The Sunday Times, is acting as a consultant on the series.
“This Sceptred Isle” is the first project to emerge from a multi-year first look deal for scripted drama series struck by Fremantle and Passenger with Revolution Films.
Winterbottom’s previous factual-based dramas include “Welcome to Sarajevo,” “A Mighty Heart,” “24 Hour Party People” and “The Road to Guantanamo.”
More to come.
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