Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn to Star in Holocaust Biopic ‘One Life’

Aisling Walsh will direct the film about the true story of Sir Nicholas George Winton

Anthony Hopkins Johnny Flynn
Photo credit: Getty Images

Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn are set to star in “One Life,” a true story drama and biopic about a man who rescued hundreds of children from Nazi death camps during the Holocaust. The film’s production company See-Saw Films and managing directors Iain Canning and Emile Sherming announced the news Wednesday.

Aisling Walsh (“Maudie,” “Elizabeth is Missing”) will direct the film about the life Sir Nicholas George Winton that will be launched to buyers at TIFF. And she’ll be working from a screenplay co-written by Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake about the humanitarian’s story.

“One Life” is the story of Sir Nicholas George Winton, who at age 29 championed the the rescue of refugee children out of Czechoslovakia, under threat from Hitler’s death camps, to the safety of British foster families. Battling public apathy, political hostility and bureaucratic obstruction he succeeded in rescuing 669 children before the war broke out, the borders are closed and the mission is abruptly over.

Flynn will play Winton as a young man working to do his humanitarian work, while Hopkins will play Winton 50 years later when he has a surprise reunion with the now grown children whose lives he helped save, all of which was captured on the BBC TV show “That’s Life.”

Canning, Sherman and Joanna Laurie are producing “One Life.” The film will be executive produced by Rose Garnett for BBC Films, and See-Saw’s COO of Film, Simon Gillis. BBC Films developed the film with See-Saw.

FilmNation Entertainment alongside See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, Cross City Films, will be managing international sales. UTA Independent Film Group will be co-representing the U.S. rights alongside FilmNation Entertainment and Cross City Films.

“Despite never wanting any attention for his altruistic act, Nicky’s story and the story of those he saved must be told. To be a part of sharing this moment in history with the world is an extraordinary privilege. Anthony and Johnny are without a doubt the right people to bring Lucinda and Nick’s beautifully crafted screenplay about this amazing man to life,” Canning and Sherman said in a statement.

Hopkins also stars in another film playing at TIFF, “The Father” alongside Olivia Colman, and he will next be seen in Stella Hopkins’ “Elyse.”

Flynn is a rising British actor and musician known for “Emma” and the Nat Geo series “Genius,” and he also most recently played David Bowie in the biopic “Stardust.”

Deadline first reported the news.


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