The As Good As It Gets and Mad About You star will lead the cast alongside Phantom Thread’s Lesley Manville and rising British stars Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women) and Julia Brown (The Last Kingdom).
The epic drama is written by The A Word’s Peter Bowker. It is a multi-stranded drama that looks at World War II through the eyes of ordinary people from all sides of the conflict. The first seven-episode season will follow the first year of the war, starting with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ending with the Battle of Britain.
Also joining the cast is Polish Academy Award-winner Zofia Wichłacz (Warsaw 44) and Brian J. Smith (Sense8) along with Parker Sawyers (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), Tomasz Kot (Cold War), Bruno Alexander (Eden), Johannes Zeiler (Faust) and Eugénie Derouand (Genius).
Filming begins this week in Prague and other filming locations include Manchester, London, Paris and Berlin. ITV Studios Global Entertainment handles global distribution for World on Fire.
The seven-part drama was developed by Mammoth’s Creative Director Rebecca Keane and executive produced by Bowker, Damien Timmer and Helen Ziegler for Mammoth Screen and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The producer is Chris Clough and Adam Smith will direct the first three episodes.
Bowker said, “World On Fire tells the hidden human stories within the big historical events we think we know. From Harry, a young English translator in Warsaw caught up in negotiations with the Nazis and trying to smuggle his Polish lover Kasia out of the country, to Lois, the girl who is waiting for him at home, a young Mancunian factory worker who will come to take all the opportunities the War can offer to live a different kind of life. To Nancy, a female US war correspondent who can’t find peace unless her life is at risk, to the Rossler family in Berlin, worried for their soldier son and willing to do anything to protect their disabled daughter from the attentions of the ruling Nazi regime. These are the stories of the ordinary people who shaped our world. Stories of loyalty and brutality, courage and fear, hopes, stories of love and loss, hopes and dreams forged in extraordinary times.”
Damien Timmer, Mammoth Screen Managing Director, added, “We are thrilled by the incredible cast and production team that have come together to tell this extraordinary, deeply characterful and intensely adrenalized story. A drama that pieces together World War II with Pete’s characteristic irreverence and humanity, that traces the connections between allies and enemies, and the huge battles we thought we knew. From the siege of Warsaw, to Dunkirk, the fall of Paris and the battle of Britain, here is an epic story told on a human scale, with a truly international cast.”
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