Helen Hunt to star in BBC’s epic new World War II drama ‘World on Fire’

The BBC has announced the cast for its new World War II drama from the makers of Parade’s End.

World on Fire is set during the first year of the Second World War, starting with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ending with the Battle of Britain.

The story is told through the intertwining fates of ordinary people drawn from Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the United States as they grapple with the effect of the war on their everyday lives.

Created by Peter Bowker, the award winning writer of BBC One’s acclaimed autism drama The A Word, the seven-part drama began filming this week in Prague.

Filming will also take place in Manchester, London, Paris and Berlin over the next few months.

The ensemble cast will be led by Oscar-winner Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets) and English actress Lesley Manville (Mum, River), with British newcomers Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women, Howard’s End) and Julia Brown (The Last Kingdom, Shetland).

The international cast also includes Tomasz Kot (Cold War), Zofia Wichłacz (Warsaw 44), Brian J. Smith (Sense8), Parker Sawyers (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), Bruno Alexander (Eden), Johannes Zeiler (Faust) and Eugénie Derouand (Genius).

Executive producer Damien Timmer commented: “We are thrilled by the incredible cast and production team that have come together to tell this extraordinary, deeply characterful and intensely adrenalized story.

“A drama that pieces together World War II with Pete’s characteristic irreverence and humanity, that traces the connections between allies and enemies, and the huge battles we thought we knew.

“From the siege of Warsaw, to Dunkirk, the fall of Paris and the battle of Britain, here is an epic story told on a human scale, with a truly international cast.”

World on Fire will air in the UK on BBC One in 2019.