United Kingdom

FIRST LOOK: Kenneth Branagh transforms into Boris Johnson

Kenneth Branagh's amazing transformation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson for new Sky drama This Sceptred Isle was unveiled on Thursday.

The Belfast-born star, 60, bore an uncanny resemblance to the politician, 56, complete with mussed blond hair, for his role in the five-part drama which charts the events surrounding the PM and the first wave of the global pandemic.

Twitter erupted with mixed reaction for the first look of Kenneth in the series, which is set to air in Autumn 2022, and feature details of the corona fight.

Co-Writer & Director, Michael Winterbottom said: 'The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will be remembered forever. Our series weaves together countless true stories - from Boris Johnson in Number 10 to front line workers around the country.'

Wow: Kenneth Branagh's amazing transformation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson for new Sky drama This Sceptred Isle was unveiled on Thursday

The Sky Original drama, produced by Fremantle, Richard Brown's Passenger and Michael Winterbottom's Revolution Films, will air on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.

Michael has co-written the series with Kieron Quirke, and will direct all five episodes. He will also Executive Produce alongside Richard. 

A press release for the show details: 'This Sceptred Isle will tell the tale of some of the most devastating events to ever befall the United Kingdom, and of a Prime Minister leading in these unprecedented times...

'The drama will trace the impact on Britain from this once in a generation pandemic, and the response of scientists, nurses, and doctors as they worked tirelessly and heroically to contain and overcome the virus...

Uncanny: The Belfast-born star, 60, bore an uncanny resemblance to the politician, 56, complete with mussed blond hair, for his role in the five-part drama which charts the events surrounding the PM and the first wave of the global pandemic

Changing roles: Kenneth was unrecognisable in his new role 

'It is based on the first-hand testimony of people from all walks of life; from Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and from hospitals and care homes across the country.'

Sky UK Managing Director of Content, Zai Bennett said: 'Covid-19 has presented once-in-a-generation challenges to the world, and in the UK the resilience and fortitude of the public over the past year has been nothing short of extraordinary...

'Portraying NHS staff and key workers on the frontlines of the extraordinary fight, to those in government facing unprecedented challenges; Michael Winterbottom has a clear and compelling vision in telling this remarkable story...

'The incredible creative talent Fremantle have assembled including the central performance from Kenneth Branagh will make This Sceptred Isle a drama we are proud to be part of telling.'

Spitting image? The transformation was a true overhaul of his usual look 

Contain the virus: The start of the pandemic will be charted in the new drama

Executive Producer, Richard Brown said: 'Michael is a master of weaving compelling drama from factual stories and he has an undeniable, distinct vision for this project...

'He and Kieron have written remarkable and meticulously researched scripts which powerfully dramatise these extraordinary events that continue to affect us all'. 

Many Twitter users were unimpressed with the transformation, with some noting that the hair was too tidy to replicate the PM's famously messy do.  

Mixed bag: Many Twitter users were unimpressed with the transformation, with some noting that the hair was too tidy to replicate the PM's famously messy do

Coming soon: Kenneth is next set to star as Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Death On The Nile, while has been delayed multiple times due to the pandemic

Users penned: 'All kinds of no thanks mate!... Congratulations - you've made him look like Andrew Neil... Hairs too tidy !!!... Hair is unconvincingly tidy... How about no... the mop looks tidy anyhow.' 

When news was first announced about the show, Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle's global COO, said: 'There are rare moments in history when leaders find their private lives uniquely connected to national events, where personal experience and official role collide in an unusual way...

'The last few months in the life of the UK Prime Minister clearly mark one of these moments.' 

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