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The Breaking the Waves stars have boarded the five-part miniseries about the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine with Mad Men star Jared Harris, the Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Chernobyl will see Watson play the role of a Soviet nuclear physicist looking to solve the mystery beyond the natural disaster, while Skarsgard will perform the role of a Soviet-era bureaucrat in the energy ministry. Watson and Skarsgard co-starred in Lars Von Trier’s 1996 drama Breaking the Waves, which earned Watson a best actress Oscar nomination.
Harris was earlier announced to star as Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident. The Chernobyl project 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 limited series is described as a “a tale of lies and cowardice, of courage and conviction, of human failure and human nobility,” that will look closely at how and why the nuclear disaster happened as well as the heroes who fought and fell during that time.
Craig Mazin (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) will write and Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead), will direct. Mazin will exec produce with Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones) and Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch), with Renck and Chris Fry (Humans) attached to co-exec produce.
The project continues HBO’s investing in miniseries and limited series, and comes several months after the cabler struck a $250 million production partnership with Sky. The two had previously worked together on the Jude Law-starrer The Young Pope, which has been renewed for a second season.
Watson is repped by UTA and Independent Talent Group, while Skarsgard is repped by ICM Partners and Curtis Brown Group.
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