Kenneth Branagh to Play Boris Johnson in Michael Winterbottom’s COVID Drama Series

Kenneth Branagh is set to play U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Michael Winterbottom’s upcoming limited series charting the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entitled This Sceptred Isle and produced by Fremantle, Richard Brown’s Passenger and Michael Winterbottom’s Revolution Films, the five-part drama has also been picked up by Comcast’s European broadcast giant Sky, to be labeled a Sky Original series.

This Sceptred Isle will tell the tale of some of the most devastating events to ever befall the United Kingdom, and of a Prime Minister leading in these unprecedented times. The drama will trace the impact on Britain from this once-in-a-generation pandemic, and the response of scientists, nurses, and doctors as they worked tirelessly and heroically to contain and overcome the virus.

It is based on the first-hand testimony of people from all walks of life; from Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and from hospitals and care homes across the country.

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Michael Winterbottom has co-written the series with Kieron Quirke, and will direct all five episodes. He will also executive produce alongside Brown (Passenger). Melissa Parmenter (Revolution Films) will produce alongside Josh Hyams and Anthony Wilcox. Tim Shipman, political editor of The Sunday Times, is acting as a consultant on the series.

This Sceptred Isle is the first project to emerge from a multi-year first look deal for scripted drama series struck by Fremantle and Passenger with Revolution Films.

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