Sir Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn will play the same character at different ages in One Life, the story of Nicholas “Nicky” Winton, who managed to get 669 mostly Jewish children out of Czechoslovakia just as the Nazis invaded.

The story became a national sensation almost a half century later when Winton was reunited with some of the children in a powerful, emotional episode of That's Life with Esther Rantzen in 1988.

According to Deadline, Winton was 29 when he took it upon himself to rescue the refugee children directly threatened with transportation to Hitler's death camps and rehomed them with British foster families. He overcame political resistance, public apathy and petty bureaucracy to save the children, but his further efforts were prevented by the outbreak of the war.

One Life has been co-written by Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl) and Nick Drake (Romulus) and will be produced by See-Saw, who are no strangers to deeply emotive real-life subjects, having produced BAFTA and Oscar-winning tear-jerkers Lion, starring Dev Patel, and and The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth.

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who are producing with Joanna Laurie, said in a statement: “Despite never wanting any attention for his altruistic act, Nicky’s story and the story of those he saved must be told. To be a part of sharing this moment in history with the world is an extraordinary privilege. Anthony and Johnny are without a doubt the right people to bring Lucinda and Nick’s beautifully crafted screenplay about this amazing man to life.”

One Live will be directed by Aisling Walsh (Maudie).

Silence of the Lambs and The Remains of the Day legend Sir Anthony Hopkins has most recently starred in HBO’s Westworld, Netflix’s The Two Popes and Florian Zeller’s acclaimed feature The Father.

Flynn is creating a name for himself for the diversity of roles he has performed. He was a compelling mysterious stranger in 2017 indie hit Beast before playing My Knightley in this year's big-screen adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. His next big role is portraying David Bowie in Stardust, the story of music legend's first tour of the US.

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