Bel Powley, Liev Schreiber & Joe Cole To Star In Disney + 'A Small Light' - Deadline

Bel Powley, Liev Schreiber & Joe Cole To Star In Disney + ‘A Small Light’ – Deadline

Bel Powley (The Morning Show) has been tapped as the lead and Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) and Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) as the co-leads in Disney + ‘s A Small Light, a National Geographic limited series that tells the remarkable story of a Dutch woman who risked her life to shelter Anne Frank’s family from the Nazis for more than two years and then preserved Anne’s diary. The project comes from Grey’s Anatomy alums Joan Rater and Tony Phelan, Susanna Fogel, ABC Signature and Keshet Studios.

The eight-episode limited series centers on 20-something secretary Miep Gies (Powley), who didn’t hesitate when her boss Otto Frank (Schreiber) asked her to hide him and his family from the Nazis during World War II. For the next two years, Miep, her husband Jan (Cole) and several other everyday heroes watched over the eight souls hiding in the secret annex. It was Miep who found Anne’s diary and preserved it so that she and Otto could later share it with the world. The series title comes from something Gies said late in her life: “I don’t like being called a hero because no one should ever think you have to be special to help others. Even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can turn on a small light in a dark room. ”

Powley’s Miep Gies, who died in 2010 at the age of 100, was Otto Frank’s faithful, funny, outspoken and utterly ordinary secretary. While Anne Frank was writing her beautiful coming-of-age story in the annex, Miep was living hers on the other side of the secret bookcase. Miep kept her heroic work secret from her friends and family while also struggling with the everyday pressures of work, daily life in wartime under Nazi occupation, and a new marriage.

Schreiber’s Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, escaped Germany in the ’30s when the Nazis’ rise to power made life dangerous for Jews. Otto remained the most optimistic member of those in hiding: he was the rock, the father figure, the boss. After the war, he maintained that optimism when he returned from Auschwitz and waited for his daughters to return. When he learned they had both died, it was Miep who gave him Anne’s diary that she had saved from the hands of the Nazis.

Cole portrays Jan Gies, Miep’s daring and devoted husband. A social worker in war-torn Amsterdam, Jan was uniquely positioned to serve those most impacted by the Nazi occupation — including Jews. For two years, he helped Miep take care of the Franks and four others in hiding in the attic of Otto’s company, Opekta. As her partner — in life and in their secret efforts — he was Miep’s one and only confidante.

Rater and Phelan wrote the series and serve as executive producers and showrunners. Fogel will direct the pilot as well as additional episodes and will executive producer alongside Keshet Studios’ Peter Traugott; Keshet International’s Alon Shtruzman; and Keshet Media Group’s Avi Nir. Principal photography will begin this summer 2022 in Prague and Amsterdam.

Recently seen on Apple TV + ‘s The Morning Show, Powley is about to star in the BBC / Working Title series Everything I Know About Love, based on the popular book series by Dolly Alderton. She recently completed production on Apple’s Tom Hanks / Steven Spielberg series Masters of the Air. Powley is repped by Curtis Brown, UTA and Jackoway Austen. Schreiber is repped by Untitled and UTA. Cole is repped by B-Side Management and WME.

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