‘Chernobyl': HBO Miniseries About 1986 Nuclear Catastrophe to Begin Production Next Year

TCA 2017: Jared Harris from “The Crown” and “Mad Men” will star in five-parter

Last Updated: July 26, 2017 @ 3:39 PM

An HBO miniseries about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is set to begin production in Lithuania in Spring 2018, the premium cable network said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour. “The Crown” star Jared Harris (pictured above) will play Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident.

Here’s the five-parter’s description, straight from the pay-TV channel: “Chernobyl” dramatizes the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. The miniseries is a tale of lies and cowardice, of courage and conviction, of human failure and human nobility, HBO continued. “Chernobyl” reveals how and why the disaster happened, telling the stories of the heroes who fought and fell.

The nuclear accident in a region of what was then the USSR directly killed 31 people. The potential for longterm cancers could ultimately carry the toll into the thousands, studies project.

“Chernobyl” is written by Craig Mazin and will be directed by Johan Renck. The limited series, which enters production next year, will be executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone and Craig Mazin, and co-executive produced by Chris Fry and Johan Renck. “Chernobyl” will be produced by Sister Pictures and The Mighty Mint as HBO and Sky Television’s first co-production under a new partnership.

“From the moment Craig Mazin pitched us the story, we were convinced that this all-too-true tale of horror and redemption needed to be told,” said Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. “It will engage — and enrage — our viewers, as well as audiences around the world.”

“In Chernobyl, Craig Mazin has achieved something unique — his script is second to none, effortlessly combining the visceral, the tragic and the heroic perspectives behind this devastating event,” added Gary Davey, managing director, content, Sky. “The scale of the production makes it a perfect first project for our co-production partnership with HBO, encapsulating our ambition to develop high-end drama with international viewpoints and casting. We look forward to working closely with HBO to bring this important story to Sky Atlantic.”