HBO takes a dramatic, in-depth look at disaster of Chernobyl in the first trailer for the upcoming miniseries event. The premium cabler is no stranger to dramatizing real-life events, but often times they come in smaller packages, like the one-two punch of Al Pacino-starring films with the creatively titled Paterno and Phil Spector, or, more recently, Brexit, which starred a bald cap-wearing Benedict Cumberbatch as the man who essentially sold voters on Britain leaving the European Union. There are many more, to be sure, but while those films may have had a ripped-from-the-headlines feel to them, they pale in comparison to the scope of what the network has planned for Chernobyl.
A five-part event, Chernobyl boasts an impressive cast that includes Jared Harris (The Terror), Stellan Skarsgård (Dune), Emily Watson (King Lear), Paul Ritter (Inferno), Jessie Buckley (Taboo), Adrian Rawlins (Hard Sun), and Barry Keoghan (Y). Though the miniseries also serves as an unofficial reunion of three actors from Lars von Trier’s 1996 masterpiece Breaking the Waves, it’s a good bet most viewers will want to tune in for a fictionalized account of a harrowing real-life event that threatened millions of lives.
The trailer is effective in its attempts to scare the daylights out of those watching on two fronts, beginning with the Chernobyl disaster itself, the immense threat of radioactive fallout, and, of course, the bureaucratic red tape that was soon to follow. It’s a frightening glimpse into a equally terrifying disaster, one given the even more gravity by the performances of both Harris and Skarsgård. Check out the trailer for Chernobyl below, along with a brief synopsis:
“On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. Chernobyl dramatizes the story of the 1986 accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and the sacrifices made to save Europe from the unimaginable disaster. Chernobyl premieres May 6 on HBO.”
For anyone who is old enough to remember the event, or recalls the more recent disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the trailer promises to bring back some difficult emotions. But it also looks as though the miniseries will be right at home alongside the equally disturbing 1979 film The China Syndrome. If nothing else, Chernobyl will make for a sobering watch while waiting for new episodes of the final season of Game of Thrones to air.
Chernobyl premieres Monday, May 6 @9pm on HBO.