Paul Ritter (Electric Dreams, No Offence, Lovesick) and Jessie Buckley (Taboo, Country Music, Beast) are leading the new star names added to Sky and HBO’s new drama, Chernobyl.
The series, based on one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, stars Stellan 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. Emily Watson co-stars as Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the scientific mystery of what led to the disaster, so that it can be prevented from ever happening again.
Now, a huge list of additional top names from the world of TV and film have joined the ensemble, including Adrian Rawlins (Darkest Hour, War and Peace) and Con O’Neill (Happy Valley, Telstar).
Buckley says: “It is a real honour to be part of this important piece of work and share with the world the real truth about the unbelievable bravery and sacrifice that the people of Chernobyl made in order to stop an even greater disaster. I feel incredibly humbled.”
Also joining the large-scale production are Sam Troughton (The Ritual, The Hollow Crown), Adam Nagaitis (The Terror, To Walk Invisible), Ralph Ineson (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Absentia), Mark Lewis Jones (Apostle, Star Wars Episode VIII), Fares Fares (Tyrant, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and David Densik (McMafia, Top of the Lake: China Girl).
The series, produced by Sister Pictures and The Mighty Mint, is the first Sky/HBO project to be greenlit through an international partnership to develop big-scale drama, under a $250m multi-year co-production investment deal.
Further names joining the line-up include: Robert Emms, Jay Simpson, Gerard Kearns, Michael Socha, Jamie Sives, Kieran O’Brien, Karl Davies, Billy Postlethwaite, Alex Ferns and James Cosmo.
Filming for Chernobyl began in Lithuania last month for the five-part mini-series, which is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin (The Identity Thief, The Huntsman: Winter’s War) and directed by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, Blackstar). It will be shown on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV in the UK.
Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson star Sky and HBO’s Chernobyl
20th March 2018
Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson will star in Chernobyl, a new series from Sky and HBO.
The high-end drama, based on the powerful real-life events of the catastrophic nuclear accident, brings to life the man-made tragedy, and the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from disaster.
Skarsgård will play 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 nightmare.
Watson will take the role of Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the scientific mystery of what led to the disaster, 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.
Skarsgård and Watson, who appeared together on screen in 1996 Cannes Film Festival winner Breaking the Waves, will join Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Crown), who will play Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident.
Written by Craig Mazin (The Identity Thief, Huntsman: Winters War), Chernobyl is directed by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, Blackstar) and Executive Produced by Jane Featherstone (Humans, Broadchurch) and Craig Mazin for Sister Pictures, Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones, The Wire) for The Mighty Mint and Gabriel Silver for Sky. Johan Renck and Chris Fry (Humans, The Smoke) Co-Executive Produce and Sanne Wohlenberg (Black Mirror, Wallander) produces.
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 added: “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.”
The series, produced by Sister Pictures and The Mighty Mint, is the first Sky/HBO project to be greenlit through an international partnership to develop big-scale drama, under a $250m multi-year co-production deal.
Filming will begin in Lithuania in Spring 2018. It will be available later this year on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK and Ireland.