Historian Antony Beevor Teaming With Ridley Scott and Steven Knight for World War II TV Series

The series would focus on the last year of the war in Europe

World War II. Normandy landings.
American reinforcements landing from barges at Utah-Beach (Manche) to deploy towards Cherbourg, June 1944.
Roger Viollet via Getty Images

If your reading habits include delving into accounts of World War II, it’s very possible that you’ve read one or more of Antony Beevor’s books on the conflict. A New York Times review of one of his works hailed his work for “the use of eyewitness testimony to deliver haunting particulars.” Among his books are D-Day: The Battle For Normandy and The Fall of Berlin 1945.

His latest project finds him working in a different medium — television — and in collaboration with a pair of talented filmmakers, Ridley Scott and Steven Knight. According to a recent article by Ed Potton at Air Mail, the series — working title: Roads to Freedom — will focus on the final year of World War II in Europe, and will draw extensively from Beevor’s bibliography.

The trio is currently pitching the project; if greenlit, Knight and Beevor will collaborate on the screenplay, with Scott directing the pilot episode. In the interview, Beevor spoke about wanting to embrace a complex narrative of the war. “The point is to avoid the whole good-and-evil thing, to show you can have people who do very good things and very bad things in the same day,” he said.

Based on the interview, the project sounds fascinating, with one overarching theme being the growing tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and United Kingdom. It looks to be a different kind of World War II narrative — which, hopefully, a network or streaming service will find suitably intriguing to approve.

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