Liev Schreiber will star in a new National Geographic limited series about Anne Frank for Disney+. The Ray Donovan star will play Frank's father, Otto Frank. The new series is titled A Small Light and centers on Miep Gies, Otto's secretary who helped his family hide from the Nazis during World War II.
Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Morning Show) stars as Gies in the eight-episode series, which was announced in February. Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) stars as Gies' husband, Jan. "Miep kept her heroic work secret from her friends and family while also struggling with the everyday pressures of work, daily life in wartime under Nazi occupation, and a new marriage," reads the series description, reports TVLine.
Joan Rater and Tony Phelan (Grey's Anatomy) are writing the series and serve as showrunners. Production will start this summer in Prague and Amsterdam. Susanna Fogel (The Flight Attendant, The Spy Who Dumped Me) is directing multiple episodes. ABC Signature is producing with Keshet Studios, reports Variety.
The title comes from Geis' quote about helping the Frank family. "I don't like being called a hero because no one should ever think you have to be special to help others. Even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can turn on a small light in a dark room," she said later in her life.
Gies and her husband helped keep the Frank family hid from the Nazis for two years during World War II. She found Anne's diary, which her father later published as The Diary of a Young Girl. Otto was the only member of the Frank family to survive the Holocaust.
The Frank family's story has been dramatized for the stage and screen many times, mostly through adaptations of Anne's diary. The 1955 play The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett was later turned into an Oscar-winning movie in 1959. In 2014, the Anne Frank Foundation authorized Anne, a Dutch play that used passages directly from the book. This was adapted into a German film in 2016.
Schreiber is an eight-time Emmy nominee, including three Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series nods for Ray Donovan. The Showtime series wrapped earlier this year with Ray Donovan: The Movie. Schreiber's other recent credits include The French Dispatch, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Human Capital, Goon: Last of the Enforcers and Spotlight.