Shawn Levy Talks Why He Wanted to Direct ‘All the Light We Cannot See’: “Unlike Anything I’ve Ever Made”

Shawn Levy opens up about why he felt drawn to direct Netflix’s new miniseries All the Light We Cannot See.

The Steven Knight-created four-episode series, adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Anthony Doerr, follows Marie-Laure, a blind French teen, who forms an unlikely relationship with a German soldier, Werner, after she takes refuge from World War II in her uncle’s town in France.

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“When I read the first draft of the first episode of the adaptation, my plan was to produce the show, maybe direct an episode,” Levy told People magazine in a recent interview. “But after I read it, I knew I needed to do it all myself.”

Though the series is unlike the usual genre he goes for, he explained, “I loved the book, I loved the adaptation. And it connected to my prior work in that it is fundamentally — and unabashedly — emotional,” adding, “It was just a very different kind of storytelling for me.”

Levy is known for his work on past projects that range from Cheaper by the Dozen, Deadpool, Free Guy, Stranger Things, Arrival and Night at the Museum, the latter three of which his production company, 21 Laps Entertainment, produced. And while all his projects are quite different, he noted that they all have one thing in common.

“All of my things tend to have a pretty warm heart at its center,” Levy said. “Which is how I like to live. My emotions, they’re on my sleeve, they’re on my skin, my face, my voice.”

All the Light We Cannot See, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Louis Hofmann and Aria Mia Loberti, is currently streaming on Netflix.

Levy said about how he went about filming the series, “I wanted to approach it like a long movie, in this case, a four-hour movie. It looks unlike anything I’ve ever made. The performances have a very different tone than anything I’ve made. It’s a straight-up period drama.”

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