All The Light We Cannot See brings the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to the small screen.
Based on Anthony Doerr’s novel of the same name, the historical drama follows the lives of two teenagers, a blind French girl named Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti) and German soldier Werner (Louis Hofmann), whose paths cross in occupied France at the height of World War II.
Alongside its two leads, the four-part series stars Lars Eidinger, Hugh Laurie, Mark Ruffalo and Marion Bailey. The series is written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, with Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy serving as a director and executive producer.
A synopsis reads: “Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See tells the story of Marie-Laure Leblanc, a blind French girl taking refuge with her father and reclusive uncle in St. Malo, France and Werner, a brilliant teenager enlisted by Hitler’s regime with an expertise in radio repair. Together they share a secret connection that will become a beacon of light that leads them through the harrowing backdrop of WWII.”
At the time of writing (November 2023), Netflix has not renewed the series. As the show is billed as a miniseries, it’s unlikely the show will be extended for more episodes.
Director Shawn Levy said he chose to cut out the book’s epilogue scenes, where we meet the two characters in the present day, in order to end “with a promise of hope”.
“Though it is far from a happy ending, I wanted to end with a promise of hope, and there were some bleak, deeply upsetting scenes late in the book that we didn’t include in the show,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly.
“But, again, Anthony has turned out to be so happy with the show that he has agreed with that decision. So, things that might’ve made sense to the novelist a decade ago when he was working on this, might not make sense on screen, on Netflix, for a global, mainstream audience in 2023.”