The U.K. government has had an eventful (to say the least) week, and actor/director/British man Kenneth Branagh will not be acting it out.
Branagh is starring as the soon-to-be-former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Sky drama series This England (originally titled This Sceptered Isle). This England follows Johnson and his government amid the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, only months into his leadership. In 2020, Johnson caught the virus and was hospitalized. The show is currently in post-production.
Variety reports that the series will not be adding any additional scenes that cover Johnson quitting as PM this week. Johnson’s resignation followed the sudden resignation of Cabinet Members and politicians in his party. “Of course, it is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects,” Johnson said in front of 10 Downing Street in London, per NPR. “But as we have seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves.” Sky released a teaser for the series back in May, and Branagh looks unrecognizable as Johnson.
“The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered forever,” This England creator Michael Winterbottom said about the show in January 2021. “A time when the country came together to battle an invisible enemy. A time when people were more aware than ever of the importance of community. Our series weaves together countless true stories — from Boris Johnson in Number 10 to front line workers around the country — chronicling the efforts of scientists, doctors, care home workers and policy makers to protect us from the virus.”
This England does not have a release date but is expected to premiere in the fall.