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Three Churchill Dramas Now in the Making

Sir Michael Gambon, Brian Cox, and John Lithgow Will Each Play Churchill in Forthcoming Films

Gambon as ChurchillSir Michael Gambon as ChurchillFifty years after his death Sir Winston Churchill is proving as popular with filmmakers as he is with authors. Three new dramas that include Churchill as a leading or supporting character are now in the making. Following in the footsteps of Robert Hardy, Richard Burton, Albert Finney, and Brendan Gleeson—who all played Churchill in the past—will be Sir Michael Gambon, Brian Cox, and John Lithgow.

Sir Michael Gambon is to play Winston Churchill in a new ITV drama about the Prime Minister’s final years in office opposite Lindsay Duncan as his wife, Clementine. Churchill’s Secret is based on Jonathan Smith’s recently published book, The Churchill Secret: KBO, set during the summer of 1953 when the then-peacetime prime minister had a stroke, which was kept secret from the world.

Brian Cox is to star as the British leader in the Second World War in the story of the forty-eight hours leading up to the D-Day landings in 1944. Titled Churchill the new biopic is also said to focus heavily on the prime minister’s relationship with his wife Clementine. It is described as a “ticking-clock thriller,” set against the backdrop of the allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Brian Welsh, best known for his 2010 drama In Our Name about a female British soldier struggling to cope with a return to civilian life after arriving home from the Iraq war, will direct the new film. Alex von Tunzelmann the author and historian who also writes a column assessing the historical accuracy of films for The Guardian, is penning the screenplay.

John Lithgow will portray Churchill in a new series about Queen Elizabeth II being developed by Netflix and Sony Pictures Television. The Crown will be a twenty-plus-hour series written by Peter Morgan, who previously brought Elizabeth’s life to screen in The Queen and also penned Frost/Nixon, Rush, and The Last King Of Scotland. Director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) is also on board. The epic series will have a nearly $170 million budget. While The Queen documented a specific moment in Elizabeth’s later years, this series will offer a more expansive view of her life. The Crown will start with her 1947 marriage to Prince Philip, who will be played by Matt Smith (Dr. Who.)

Photo: Sir Michael Gambon as Sir Winston Churchill. Credit: The Daily Mail

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