Oscar-winner Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets, Mad About You) Olivier Award-winner actress Lesley Manville (Mum, Phantom Thread) have been cast in Peter Bowker’s upcoming BBC One World War 2 drama, World On Fire.
Produced by Mammoth Screen, the drama tells the story of the first year of the war, starting with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ending with the Battle of Britain.
Hunt and Manville will be joined by rising British stars Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women, Howard’s End) and Julia Brown (The Last Kingdom, Shetland), plus Polish Academy Award-winner Zofia Wichłacz (Warsaw 44, Amok), Brian J. Smith (Sense8), Parker Sawyers (Southside with You, The Autopsy of Jane Doe), Tomasz Kot (Gods, Cold War), Bruno Alexander (Eden, Der Verlorene Bruder), Johannes Zeiler (Faust, Codename Holec) and Eugénie Derouand (Genius, Beatrice).
Filming begins this week in Prague and other filming locations include Manchester, London, Paris and Berlin.
Peter Bowker says: “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.”