Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson have joined the cast of Sky Atlantic’s forthcoming drama Chernobyl, a five-part series based on the real-life events of the catastrophic nuclear accident.
The pair previously appeared together in the 1996 Cannes Film Festival winner Breaking the Waves.
A co-production between Sky and HBO, the drama will star Skarsgård as Boris Shcherbina, head of the Bureau for Fuel and Energy of the USSR, and appointed leader of the government commission on Chernobyl in the early hours of the accident.
In the effort to confront the disaster, Shcherbina finds himself trapped between the realities of the political system he serves… and the brutal human costs of battling an escalating nuclear nightmare.
Watson takes on the role of Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the scientific mystery of what led to the disaster at Chernobyl, so that it can be prevented from ever happening again.
Her efforts put her on a collision course with those who have buried a terrible secret, and she must risk her freedom, and her life, to see that the truth is told, and justice is done.
The pair join Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Crown), who was confirmed last year to play Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident.
Written by Craig Mazin (The Identity Thief, Huntsman: Winters War), the series is Directed by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, Blackstar) and being overseen by Humans and Spooks producer, Jane Featherstone.
It will be available later on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK and Ireland, and on Sky Atlantic in Italy, Germany and Austria.
Skarsgård said: “Nobody would see it as a privilege to spend five months in a dilapidated nuclear plant, unless it was to play in a script like this by Craig Mazin, work with a director like Johan Renck, collaborate with a producer like Jane Featherstone, jam with an actor like Jared Harris and finally be at the feet of Emily Watson whom I have been missing for some twenty years.”
Watson said: “This is a significant piece of work and I’m honoured to be part of it. I can’t wait to get started with this amazing group of people, and am especially excited to be working with Stellan again.”