The biopic is adapted from D.M. Thomas’s biography “Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life.”
Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet prison system, beginning in 1945, and wrote about his imprisonment in the 1973 book “The Gulag Archipelago.” He also wrote “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” “Cancer Ward” and “August 1914.” He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 “for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.”
He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974 due to his criticism of the totalitarian system, but returned to Russia in 1994 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He died in Moscow in 2008.
McKenna was the creator and co-executive producer of HBO’s “The Pacific,” and wrote three episodes of HBO’s “Band Of Brothers,