A+E Networks’ Lifetime, A&E Network and History have partnered with The Weinstein Co. and the BBC for their six-part limited series adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace. The series, expected to premiere later this year, will air on all three networks simultaneously, an approach A+E also is using for its upcoming Roots event series.
Described as one of the most ambitious event series ever made for the BBC, War And Peace features a big-name cast led by Cinderella and Downton Abbey star Lily James as the romantic and impulsive Natasha Rostova and Paul Dano as the socially awkward but noble Pierre Bezukhov. Gillian Anderson, James Norton and Jim Broadbent co-star.
Tolstoy’s expansive novel begins in 1805 Russia and revolves around five aristocratic families set against the backdrop of the reign of Alexander I, the lingering effects of his grandmother Catherine The Great’s rule and the events surrounding Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.
Executive producers on the mini are BBC Cymru Wales drama chief Faith Penhale, Look Out Point’s Simon Vaughn and TWC’s Harvey Weinstein and Robert Walak.
King Vidor’s 1956 feature adaptation starred Audrey Hepburn as Natasha and Henry Fonda as Pierre. Then there was the four-part 1966 epic by Sergey Bondarchuk starring then-young ballerina Lyudmila Saveleva as Natasha in her acting debut, Bondarchuk as Pierre and Vyacheslav Tikhonov as Prince Andrei.