Robert Carlyle is to play Adolf Hitler in a Canadian-backed miniseries that will explore his rise to power during the years prior to World War II.

Currently filming in Prague under director Christian Duguay, the four-hour drama will 'focus closely on how the embittered, increasingly xenophobic and militaristic German society after World War I made that ascent possible,' explained its production company and worldwide distributor Alliance Atlantis.

The production teams initially worked with historian Ian Kershaw, writer of the book, Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris. The script was written by John Pielmeier (Agnes Of God) and G. Ross Parker.

Starring alongside Carlyle, are Stockard Channing, Jena Malone, Julianna Margulies, Matthew Modine, Liev Schreiber, Peter Stormare and Peter O'Toole.

Channing plays Hitler's mother; Malone plays Geli Raubal, the daughter of Hitler's half-sister, with whom Hitler became enamoured; Stormare plays the thuggish leader of his street-fighting unit; and O'Toole portrays Paul Von Hindenburg, a German Field Marshal who later served as German President from 1925 to 1934.

Hitler's early years are also the subject of Menno Meyjes' Max, which is screening here as part of the European Film Market. In that film, which focuses on Hitler's attempts to be taken seriously as an artist, the dictator is played by another British actor, Noah Taylor.