After sweeping the BAFTA Awards, New Zealand born playwright, novelist and filmmaker Anthony McCarten announces his next project based on Sir Winston Churchill’s leadership during the London blitz. By Fabeha Syed & Alex Xi Zhang
This year when Britain observed Sir Winston Churchill’s 50th death anniversary, the team behind ‘Theory of Everything’ announced ‘The Darkest Hour’ – a biopic centred around the fear that gripped Churchill during the second world war.
The Churchill War Rooms where the leader operated from can be visited in London. The ongoing exhibition called ‘Undercover: Life in Churchill’s Bunker” explores the story of the people and members who worked for him. On display are the personal objects, oral histories and film interviews giving the visitors an insight into their relationship with the British patriot and patriarch.
Speaking about the film, McCarten told Deadline.com in an exclusive interview:“We aim to present a Churchill you haven’t seen before, a new portrait that shows all his famous strengths but also adds new dimensions, such as the grave doubts he privately harboured, the dark moods that would seize him unexpectedly and his fear of failure, a driving force that is often is left out of any discussion of the man,”
“It is enormously exciting to be embarking on another project with Lisa Bruce and the Working Title team.” he added.
The New Zealand born playwright, novelist and filmmaker swept the recent BAFTA awards with the Stephen Hawkin biopic “Theory of Everything”. The scribe is now working with co-producer Lisa Bruce and their Working Title partners, Eric Fellnar and Tim Bevan, on the biopic.
The Darkest Hour
The film is about the decisions the Prime Minister took at the time when Hitler and his air force, the Luftwaffe (which became the largest and most powerful air force in the very beginning of WWII), were bombing London in an attempt to demoralise the public. During the London Blitz, Churchill and his cabinet operated from underground whilst the city was getting bombed above their heads.
“Days into his new job as Prime Minister as Britain was getting pounded and on the verge of losing to Germany, Churchill was under pressure to make a deal with Hitler that would have established Britain as a puppet state of the Third Reich. His army stranded in Dunkirk, Churchill instead summoned the courage to fight on. The film is about his decisions, and the actions and immortal speeches in those critical days that defined his place in history and changed the destiny of the world.” The Dealine.com reported.
The underground bunker of Westminster
In the late 1970s, the war rooms had been started to be preserved by the Imperial War Museum for a historic site. It’s the same location in the heart of London which buried the secrets of Britain and sheltering its keepers during the 1940s. When Hitler managed to burn and bomb most of the sites in his endeavours to invade the Great Britain.
The Cabinet war rooms were developed as a temporary measure where the basic way of accommodation with ordinary services were available – to the members of the cabinet and as well as to the prime minister.
The ongoing exhibition called ‘Undercover: Life in Churchill’s Bunker” explores the story of the people and members who worked for him. On display are the personal objects, oral histories and film interviews giving the visitors an insight into their relationship with the British patriot and patriarch.
A series of study bedrooms were created for Churchill’s private staff and the area came to be known as the ‘Courtyard Rooms’.
Churchill gave utmost importance to communications. In room no 60, the BBC installed broadcasting equipment which had assisted Churchill to give his speeches. Later on the single unit telephone switchboard was replaced by a five operator unit in the area which now is the Switchroom café.
The reflection from the era of the war leader brings alive what to the generation after WWII is a distant history. Each room echoes of the precision the war was led and fought with. It’s been half a century since the great leader had passed away and the ripples of inspiration and grit of his power could be seen when on 30th January his 50th death anniversary was commemorated.
…and he shall be remembered
A country proud of its political luminary had planned the special state funeral with utmost planning even when it was weeks ahead. The Havengore, the boat which carried Sir Winston Churchill along the Thames during his state funeral in 1965, repeated its journey from the Tower of London to Westminster. But the boat that carried Churchill’s coffin which was the centrepiece on his funeral got damaged in an accident soon after the event.
After the event, the 85ft long vessel was taken to its routine servicing when it hit the post creating a hole on one side just above the sea level. “She was hoisted out of the water at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich, Suffolk where she is now being repaired,” ITV reported.
Anthony McCarten took ten years to persuade Hawking and his wife to allow him to make a film on their lives but good news is that the Churchill biopic is slated for 2016 release.
Watch more about Churchill Museum on Youtube: