Michael Winterbottom creating series about Boris Johnson’s handling of pandemic

Director Michael Winterbottom is to explore Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in a new drama series.

The Bafta-winning filmmaker, whose credits include Greed and 24 Hour Party People, will co-write and direct, while Tim Shipman, the political editor of The Sunday Times, will act as a consultant.

The series will follow the real-life drama as Mr Johnson faces “the biggest national and personal crisis to face a Government leader since World War Two”.

Coronavirus – Tue Jun 23, 2020
Boris Johnson delivers a coronavirus briefing in Downing Street (PA Video)

Starting with his appointment as Prime Minister, the story will recount the first Covid-19 cases in the UK, through to Mr Johnson falling ill with the virus, and the arrival of his son.

The project’s name and casting details are yet to be announced.

Global producer and distributor Fremantle has joined with Richard Brown from Passenger and Melissa Parmenter from Revolution Films, who will serve as executive producers.

Brown, whose work includes True Detective and Catch-22, said: “Michael Winterbottom is the ideal filmmaker to tell the story of the extraordinary events surrounding Boris Johnson’s new government and the Covid-19 pandemic, which has captured the attention of the world.

“We’re excited to join forces with Michael and Revolution Films on this project, a story which appears to demonstrate that fact is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction.”

Andrea Scrosati, global COO of Fremantle, said: “There are rare moments in history when leaders find their private lives uniquely connected to national events, where personal experience and official role collide in an unusual way.

“The last few months in the life of the UK Prime Minister clearly mark one of these moments.

“At Fremantle we are passionate about finding powerful and authentic stories and telling them with a fair and fact-based approach.

“Richard and Michael are the perfect creative team to bring this dramatic story to life, in a way that does justice to the true nature of the unbelievable events experienced by one of the world’s most high-profile leaders.”

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