Jason Watkins to star in Climategate drama for BBC

The Crown’s Jason Watkins and 1917 actor George MacKay and will star in a film about the Climategate scandal from 2009, when climate change scientist Professor Philip Jones found himself at the centre of a media storm over the release of hacked emails.

The Trick will tell the story of the world-renowned professor, who was director of climate research at the University of East Anglia when he found he was the victim of cyber terrorism and a series of leaked emails was used by climate-change deniers to discredit data about global warming.

The film will look at the potentially devastating consequences to humanity from climate change denial and how a media storm undermined public confidence in the science, according to the BBC.

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 – London
Victoria Hamilton (Matt Crossick/PA)

The film stars Watkins as Professor Jones, while Doctor Foster actress Victoria Hamilton plays his wife, Ruth.

MacKay also stars alongside Game Of Thrones actor Jerome Flynn and Save Me’s Adrian Edmondson.

Watkins said: “It is rare that a drama marries the personal and the public in such a compelling way – the urgent need to tackle the effects of the earth’s warming is not going away and the research into this project has been sobering.

“It is a privilege to play the brilliant scientist, Phil Jones, whose own private world was so threatened from outside and whose research and efforts have been so vital globally in combating the effects of climate change.

“I’m delighted to be performing alongside Victoria, the whole exceptional cast, and with Pip Broughton (the director), whose singular and beautiful work I so admire.”

True History of the Kelly Gang UK Premiere – London
George MacKay will also star (Ian West/PA)

Writer Owen Sheers added: “The Trick is both a story of a particular moment in time, and a story for our times.

“The events that came to be known as Climategate were a powerful coalescence of forces that have since shaped much of our last decade. At its heart, however, this is also a story about the people caught at the eye of a new kind of storm, and how in the end despite attack from all sides, the integrity and truth of their important work won through.”

Filming on The Trick will take place in Cardiff, London and Norfolk. An air date is yet to be announced.