AceShowbiz - Sir Kenneth Branagh has been cast as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a new TV drama.
The actor/director will play the leader on "This Sceptred Isle", a five-part Sky project surrounding the first wave of the global COVID pandemic, and the responses of experts and frontline workers as they tried to contain the spread of the virus. It is based on the first-hand testimony of people including those from Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and from hospitals and care homes across the country.
Michael Winterbottom has co-written the series with Kieron Quirke, and will direct all five episodes, while executive producing alongside Richard Brown. Melissa Parmenter (Revolution Films) will produce alongside Josh Hyams and Anthony Wilcox.
He says, "The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered forever. 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... to frontline workers around the country, chronicling the efforts of scientists, doctors, care home workers and policy makers to protect us from the virus."
Sky UK Managing Director of Content, Zai Bennett added, "COVID-19 has presented once-in-a-generation challenges to the world, and in the U.K. the resilience and fortitude of the public over the past year has been nothing short of extraordinary. Portraying NHS staff and key workers on the frontlines of the extraordinary fight, to those in government facing unprecedented challenges; Michael Winterbottom has a clear and compelling vision in telling this remarkable story. The incredible creative talent Fremantle have assembled including the central performance from Kenneth Branagh will make 'This Sceptred Isle' a drama we are proud to be part of telling."
The series will shoot later this year (21) and air in 2022.