David To Star In United For BBC Two

United is based on the true story of Manchester United's legendary "Busby Babes", the youngest side ever to win the Football League, the 1958 Munich Air Crash that claimed eight of the their number and the extraordinary spirit of a city that rebuilt the team in the wake of the disaster.

David Tennant will star as coach Jimmy Murphy, alongside Jack O'Connell (Skins, Dive) as Bobby Charlton, the youngest of the Babes, and Sam Claflin (Pirates Of The Caribbean, Any Human Heart) as star player Duncan Edwards. Manager Matt Busby (the source of the team's nickname) is to be confirmed. The film draws on first-hand interviews with the survivors and their families to tell the inspirational story of a team and community overcoming terrible tragedy.

The Munich Air Crash killed 22 of the 44 passengers onboard, including supporters, journalists and embassy staff.

Simon Heath, Executive Producer, World Productions, says: "Chris Chibnall has written an authentic and moving version of this heartbreaking story, which with the help of a great cast, we hope will be a fitting tribute to those who survived and those who lost their lives at Munich."

Peter Salmon, Director, BBC North, says: "This was a tragedy that touched the lives of many people in Manchester both directly and indirectly. With its superbly talented cast and powerful script, I am proud that BBC North is supporting this project."

United starts filming later this month in and around the North East of England. Written by Chris Chibnall (Law & Order: UK, Camelot) and directed by James Strong (Dr Who, Hustle), the film is produced by Julia Stannard (The History Boys, The Government Inspector) and executive produced by World Productions Simon Heath (Larkin: Love Again, Hancock & Joan) and Polly Hill for the BBC. Commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two.

United is backed by Lip Sync Productions, Content Films, BBC North and the BBC.

World Productions is entering its 20th year with this new film. During that time, the company has made over 250 hours of drama, including Ahead Of The Class, This Life, The Cops, Party Animals and Outlaws.

Thanks to BBC Press Office.

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