Five-part miniseries Chernobyl, the first production under HBO and Sky’s recently announced drama partnership, is set to begin filming next year, with The Crown‘s Jared Harris in the starring role. Kary Antholis, president of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming, announced the project today during HBO’s presentation at the TCA summer press tour in Pasadena.
Written by Craig Mazin (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) and directed by Johan Renck (The Walking Dead), Chernobyl dramatizes the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. The miniseries focuses on the heartbreaking scope of the nuclear plant disaster that occurred in Ukraine in April 1986, revealing how and why it happened and telling the shocking, remarkable stories of the heroes who fought and fell.
Harris will play Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident.
Sister Pictures and the Mighty Mint are producing. Chernobyl will be executive produced by Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones), Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch) and Craig Mazin, and co-executive produced by Chris Fry (Humans) and Johan Renck.
“From the moment Craig Mazin pitched us the story, we were convinced that this all-too-true tale of horror and redemption needed to be told,” said Antholis. “It will engage – and enrage – our viewers, as well as audiences around the world.”
Added Gary Davey, managing director of content at Sky: “In Chernobyl, Craig Mazin has achieved something unique: His script is second to none, effortlessly combining the visceral, the tragic and the heroic perspectives behind this devastating event. The scale of the production makes it a perfect first project for our co-production partnership with HBO, encapsulating our ambition to develop high-end drama with international viewpoints and casting. We look forward to working closely with HBO to bring this important story to Sky Atlantic.”
Harris recently starred on The Crown and received a supporting actor Emmy nomination for Mad Men. His film credits include Allied, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Lincoln, among others. He’s repped by ICM Partners, Gateway Management, and Independent Talent.
Filming will begin in Lithuania in the spring.