The title of a TV drama that will recount the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been announced.
The series was revealed earlier this year, to be named “The Sceptred Isle,” and will be directed by Michael Winterbottom.
Winterbottom will also work as a co-writer, while Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times’ political editor, will act as a consultant.
The story starts with his election as prime minister and chronicles the first 19 cases of Covid in Britain, through to the virus of Johnson’s disease and his son’s birth.
The title of the series is a reference to the play ‘King Richard II,’ credited to John of Gaunt by William Shakespeare:
“This royal throne of kings, this island of the scepter, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars …. This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England”
(Ian West/PA) Manager Michael Winterbottom
A first-look contract has been signed by global producer and distributor Fremantle with Winterbottom and his Revolution Films production company. The business will create and produce scripted series and films, with the projects being co-produced and distributed worldwide by Fremantle.
The deal is in cooperation with Richard Brown and his company Passenger, with Melissa Parmenter of Brown and Revolution Films serving as executive producers of the political drama that will “tell the true story of the greatest national and personal crisis facing a government leader since World War II.”
“We are very excited about the prospect of developing our film and television production with our new partners at Passenger and Fremantle. We want to provide a space where directors have the freedom to develop and tell the stories they care about.”We are very excited about the prospect of developing with our new partners at Passenger and Fremantle our film and television production. We want to provide a space where directors have the freedom to create and tell the stories they care about.
“Fremantle’s Andrea Scrosati added, “Thanks to unique creative collaborations that we are developing around the world, our global drama slate is rising.
His vision is inspiring, and I appreciate the fact that he continues to question the status quo. Michael is an extremely challenging and prolific writer.
“I’m so proud that he and Melissa have chosen Fremantle as their creative partner, and I look forward to the great content we’ll develop together.”
Fremantle has also recently signed deals with artists such as Pablo Larrain, Luca Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino, Neil Gaiman, and Neil Cross, including Juan de Dios Larrain.
Casting for the series and other plot details are yet to be announced.