John Hurt will star in a one-off factual dramatisation called War Poets – Forbidden Love on ITV next month and portray Siegfried Sassoon in his later years, as he reminisces about his time spent with the young Wilfred.
The film throws a new light on the First World War poets Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves, and using their diaries and letters, the inside story of their war is told – in their own words.
The three young men are all budding poets, thrown together in battle. All three are also secretly gay – and they will soon lose their boyish innocence in the trenches. On the front line an officer’s life expectancy is barely six weeks, and they all struggle to cope with the magnitude of the slaughter around them, dealing with it in very different ways. Together they give a voice to the rage of a generation.
At the heart of the film is the story of Sassoon and Owen’s close relationship, told in their own words through their passionate correspondence.
John Hurt plays Sassoon in the 1960s, in the twilight years of his life. He is haunted by his experiences in the trenches and cannot overcome the grief of losing the love of his life. He provides the backbone to the film as we flash back with him to his younger self – played by Morgan Watkins ( The Hour). Wilfred Owen is played by Matthew Beard ( The Imitation Game, One Day and An Education) and Robert Graves is played by Joe Claflin ( Game of Thrones).
War Poets – Forbidden Love is due to go out on ITV on Remembrance Sunday, 13th November.