‘This England’ Teaser Reveals an Unrecognizable Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson!! Check It Out!!

Sky Atlantic has debuted a new teaser for This England, an upcoming six-part miniseries starring Kenneth Branagh as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Set “inside the halls of government and interwoven with stories from around the country,” the show will tackle the Johnson administration’s handling of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally titled This Sceptred Isle, the miniseries is based on the first-hand testimony of people inside 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. In addition to unpacking the government’s handling of the pandemic — there are discussions in the trailer about the potential economic fallout of a lockdown, and how it will impact the public’s perception of the Johnson administration — the miniseries will also delve into the prime minister’s personal life and highlight the efforts of the National Health Service.

Ophelia Lovibond stars as Johnson’s wife, Carrie Symonds, while Simon Paisley Day appears as his former aide Dominic Cummings, who was critical of Johnson’s decision-making during the pandemic after resigning from his post in 2020. Cummings was most prominently played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the television drama film Brexit: The Uncivil War. Johnson was played by Richard Goulding in that film.

The new trailer teases the simmering tension between Johnson and Cummings, with one character saying in the background that Johnson should “reign him in.” The minute-long trailer ends with a glimpse of Johnson at the hospital, presumably after contracting the virus himself. “This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,” he says pensively at the end.

Branagh is practically unrecognizable under the prosthetics, and This England — in tone and ideology — might remind viewers of the Showtime miniseries The Comey Rule, in which Brendan Gleeson played former President Donald Trump. This is Branagh’s most high-profile television role since Wallander, which ran for four seasons of three episodes each from 2008 to 2016. In recent years, Branagh’s acting career has essentially restricted to him alternating between his Hercule Poirot movies — Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile — and three back-to-back Christopher Nolan films: Dunkirk, Tenet, and the upcoming Oppenheimer.

He has remained busy as a filmmaker, though. In addition to the Poirot duology, Branagh directed the already forgotten Artemis Fowl adaptation, and the awards darling Belfast, which won him a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

This England is co-written and directed by the prolific Michael Winterbottom and will be released on Sky Atlantic and the streaming service NOW on 21 September. You can watch the teaser here, and stay tuned to Collider for more updates.

via Collider

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