Aisling Walsh (Maudie, Elizabeth is Missing) will direct One Life for See-Saw Films, as announced by the company on Wednesday. Starring are Academy Award Winning actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, The Two Popes ) and Johnny Flynn (Beast, Emma), with a script by Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl, The Little Stranger) and Nick Drake (Romulus, My Father).
Developed by BBC Films and See-Saw, One Life is based on the extraordinary true story of Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Winton who, when just 29 years old championed 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 succeeds in rescuing 669 children before war breaks out, the borders are closed and the mission is abruptly over. Half a century later, Nicky has a surprise reunion with the now grown children whose lives he saved in a powerful and emotional moment captured on TV as part of the award-winning BBC TV show ‘That’s Life’.
Hopkins and Flynn will both play the role of Winton at different stages of his extraordinary life.
See-Saw’s Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Lion, The King’s Speech) and Joanna Laurie are producing with BBC Films’s Rose Garnett and See-Saw’s COO of Film, Simon Gillis. The film takes to the virtual Toronto International Film Festival sales floor starting tomorrow from FilmNation Entertainment alongside See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, Cross City Films. UTA Independent Film Group will be co-repping the US 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.” said Canning and Sherman. “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.”
Hopkins is credited for his memorable screen career with titles Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day (1993), Nixon (1995) and Amistad (1998), as well as Silence of the Lambs prequel follow-up, Red Dragon, and blockbuster sequel Hannibal, to name a few. He also stars in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor franchise.
Johnny Flynn, an actor as well as a musician, is credited for roles in Emma alongside Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor, as well as Michael Pearce’s BAFTA-winning thriller Beast, ITV and Amazon Studios’s Vanity Fair, upcoming Stardust in which he will play a young David Bowie, See-Saw’s Operation Mincemeat, heist musical The Score featuring Johnny’s songs, Simon Stone’s The Dig for Netflix and Adrian Shergold’s forthcoming noir thriller Cordelia, among others.
BAFTA and IFTA-winning Walsh is best known for Elizabeth is Missing, Sally Hawkins TIFF Audience Award winner Maudie, BBC series Room at the Top, An Inspector Calls, A Poet in New York’ and Kenneth Branagh’s BAFTA winning performance in an episode of Wallander.