Michael Winterbottom has temporarily stepped back from his directing duties on Sky’s Boris Johnson series This Sceptred Isle for health reasons.
Winterbottom is working remotely and is said to be recovering well. The Crown and Brideshead Revisited helmer Julian Jarrold will take over in the interim, overseeing the current block of episodes, before Winterbottom returns to direct the next block. Production on the buzzy five-part series continues.
Co-written by The Trip helmer Winterbottom, This Sceptred Isle is based on first-hand testimony from those close to British prime minister Johnson. It will chart the events surrounding the PM, the government, and the country in the face of the first wave of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Kenneth Branagh leads a cast that includes Ophelia Lovibond as Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, and Simon Paisley Day as Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s most senior adviser at the height of the coronavirus crisis.
The project first emerged last year as part of a deal between Winterbottom and Fremantle’s Passenger, run by True Detective producer Richard Brown. It is produced by Fremantle, Passenger, and Winterbottom’s Revolution Films.
The Hollywood Reporter first revealed that Winterbottom is taking a break from filming. Sky declined to comment.
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