In a surprise announcement, NBC's Peacock streaming service released a trailer for the BBC drama Anthony. In 2005, 18-year-old Black student Anthony Walker was murdered in an unprovoked, racially motivated attack in Liverpool that shocked the nation. Anthony is a powerful feature film that examines the impact of Walker's murder by exploring what may have happened had he lived. This distinctive drama presents a unique perspective on this devastating crime and the life it took away. this morning. The TV movie will be premiering on Peacock on September 4th.
Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jimmy McGovern, Anthony's imagined life is told through reverse chronology as we see him realize his dreams and enjoy the life he had a right to live, before fate – and hate – took it all away. ANTHONY stars a (The Feed) as Anthony Walker, Rakie Ayola (Been So Long) as his mother Gee Walker, Julia Brown (World on Fire) as his wife Katherine and Bobby Schofield (Knightfall) as his friend Mick. Anthony is produced by Colin McKeown and Donna Molloy for LA Productions. The film is directed by Terry McDonough and written by Jimmy McGovern. Colin McKeown, Jimmy McGovern, and Terry McDonough serve as executive producers, along with Lucy Richer for the BBC. ITV Studios handles global distribution.
We wrote about Anthony just a few weeks ago when it premiered on the BBC in the UK. It's the most devastating drama of the year and utterly relevant in the year of Black Lives Matter. It is a story told backward. Everything we see is a fiction of a life denied before we come to that horrific moment of tragedy back in 2005. As we said back then, Jimmy McGovern "is one of the UK's finest screenwriters. He is also possibly the most uncompromising, his scripts burn with a sense of social justice and political anger with raw anger, invests his script here with an inescapable sense of grief and loss. You know the opening moments of joy and redemption are all denied the real Anthony, and when his murder occurs, it's like a bomb that goes off that erases everything we saw before, a whole world and other lives are wiped out, never to happen. That, McGovern and Gee Walker tell us, is what senseless murder does. It sends out ripples that destroy more lives than the one victim."
Anthony goes from a tender, funny story to a tale of unspeakable horror and loss at the end. It is grueling to watch and utterly essential for 2020. It is a must-see. You can't look away.