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Oscar-winner Helen Hunt has joined “World on Fire,” the upcoming World War II drama for the BBC. She takes a lead role alongside Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) in the drama from Peter Bowker (“The A Word”). ITV-backed production company Mammoth Screen is producing.

The seven-part series tells the story of the first year of the war as seen through the eyes ordinary people from from Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the U.S.

Jonah Hauer-King (“Howard’s End”) and Julia Brown (“The Last Kingdom”) will also star in the series, which has a varied international cast. New names added alongside Hunt include Zofia Wichłacz (“Warsaw 44”), Brian J. Smith (“Sense8”), Tomasz Kot (“Cold War”), and Eugenie Derouand (“Genius”).

Filming starts this week in Prague. The Shoot will also take in Manchester, London, Paris and Berlin.

Damien Timmer, Mammoth Screen managing director, said the series “pieces together World War II with Pete’s characteristic irreverence and humanity.” He added: “From the siege of Warsaw, to Dunkirk, the fall of Paris and the battle of Britain, here is an epic story told on a human scale, with a truly international cast.”

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, said: “Pete’s funny, humane and poignant writing gives us a perspective on those early days of the Second World War which we have never seen before.”

ITV’s distribution arm, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, is handling international sales.