Daniel (Mark Ruffalo) and Marie-Laure talking in all the light we cannot see
(Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)

Netflix’s ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ Trailer Seems To Do Justice To Anthony Doerr’s Moving Novel

The TV adaptation of Anthony Doerr’s beautiful and haunting historical fiction novel, All the Light We Cannot See, is less than a month away from its anticipated release. The war novel was first released in 2014 and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, spending over 200 weeks on The New York Times bestsellers list. It’s not surprising that All the Light We Cannot See attained such high critical and commercial acclaim, considering how captivating of a storyteller Doerr is and the lyrical power in his novel as it probed the atrocities of war.

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By 2019, Netflix had scooped up the rights to adapt All the Light We Cannot See into a miniseries consisting of four episodes. It nabbed the talents of Shawn Levy and Steven Knight to direct and write the series, respectively. Knight is no stranger to historical fiction and book adaptations as he’s the writer behind Peaky Blinders, A Christmas Carol (2019), and Great Expectations (2023). Meanwhile, Levy is the filmmaker behind The Adam Project and the upcoming Deadpool 3. So the show has quite a capable duo at the helm, which will be necessary to do full cinematic justice to Doerr’s moving and vivid story.

All the Light We Cannot See finally has a trailer!

The intense trailer released by Netflix on October 3 captures the darkness of World War II but also the presence of light from those who maintained their humanity and fought against evil to bring back the light. The most significant force of light is a blind French woman whose broadcasts have the power to win the war and defeat the Nazis. However, her act of resistance puts her in grave danger, although even the man forced to track her down and kill her has been moved by her broadcast.

As the trailer continues, we see that the efforts don’t just come from the girl but from a whole country, as the French Resistance formed to fight against German occupancy. From the trailer, it appears All the Light We Cannot See‘s TV series is just as haunting as the book as it captures the barbarism of war but also the tiny bits of humanity that arise in the darkest of times.

Aria Mia Loberti in all the light we cannot see
(Netflix)

Leading the cast of All the Light Cannot See is Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a blind young French woman who begins broadcasting and transmitting secret messages through Morse code to aid the French Resistance. Loberti is a newcomer to the film industry, with All the Light We Cannot See marking her acting debut. Her performance is highly anticipated after she managed to nab such an impressive role on her very first audition. Child actor Nell Sutton—who, like her character, is also blind—will portray young Marie-Laure.

Starring opposite Loberti is Louis Hoffman as Werner Pfennig, a young German boy forced to serve the Nazis and tasked with killing Marie-Laure. This is Hoffman’s second starring role in a Netflix original, as he also led the sci-fi thriller Dark. Meanwhile, Marvel Cinematic Universe star Mark Ruffalo has been cast as Daniel Leblanc, Marie-Laure’s father. Hugh Laurie, best known for starring in House, portrays Etienne Leblanc, World War I veteran and Marie-Laure’s great uncle who provides refuge for the girl and her father during World War II.

Also starring in All the Light We Cannot See is Lars Eidinger as Sergeant Major Reinhold von Rumpel, a Nazi seeking a diamond in Marie-Laure’s possession. Luna Wedler and Rosie Hilal will portray Jutta and Frau Elena, respectively. Jutta is Werner’s younger sister, while Elena runs the orphanage Werner and Jutta lived in as children. Meanwhile, Richard Sammel portrays Dr. Hauptmann, the Nazi who taught Werner to detect radio transmissions. Rounding out the cast is Andrea Deck as Sandrina.

What is All the Light We Cannot See about?

werner in all the light we cannot see
(Netflix)

The official synopsis for All the Light We Cannot See 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.

The adaptation of All the Light We Cannot See is expected to closely follow Doerr’s book—meaning it will focus primarily on Marie-Laure and Werner as they fight on opposite sides of the war but form an unexpected connection over radiowaves. It will also likely explore The Sea of Flames diamond story arc, which sees Marie-Laure and her father hiding a valuable diamond, which legend holds is cursed. While All the Light We Cannot See retells Doerr’s captivating story, it remains to be seen if it can do justice to the emotion, themes, and power his work beautifully captured.

All the Light We Cannot See premieres exclusively on Netflix on November 2, 2023.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.