Anthony Hopkins, Florence Pugh and Richard Eyre are teaming up for a new adaptation of King Lear this spring, and Amazon Prime Video and BBC Two have unveiled our first look at the cast in action.
Set in the fictional present, King Lear sees Hopkins play the eponymous ruler, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England. Emma Thompson (The Children Act, The Remains of the Day, Sense and Sensibility) stars as his oldest daughter Goneril, alongside Emily Watson (Theory of Everything, Genius) as his middle daughter Regan, and Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth, Marcella) as Cordelia, the youngest of Lear’s children.
They are joined by Jim Broadbent (Iris, Game of Thrones) as the Earl of Gloucester, with Andrew Scott (Sherlock, The Hollow Crown) as his loyal son, Edgar, and John Macmillan (Hanna, Chewing Gum) as his illegitimate son, Edmund.
Jim Carter (Downton Abbey, Cranford) will play the Earl of Kent, with Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers, Thor: The Dark World) as Oswald, and Tobias Menzies (Outlander, The Terror) as the Duke of Cornwall. Anthony Calf (New Tricks, Riviera) plays the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson (Wittgenstein, Rome) is Lear’s loyal jester the Fool.
Produced by Playground and Olivier and Tony Award winner Sonia Friedman Productions, King Lear was commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC. The producer is Noëlette Buckley (The Dresser, Wolf Hall). Executive producers are Colin Callender and Scott Huff for Playground, Sonia Friedman for Sonia Friedman Productions, and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Great Point Media represents international rights in the project.
A co-production with Amazon Studios, the drama will premiere on BBC Two this spring, with Amazon Prime Video debuting the series in the US and Germany, and streaming it later in the UK. Here’s the new image of Hopkins and Pugh in action:
Anthony Hopkins to star in Amazon and BBC’s King Lear
6th October 2017
BBC Two and Amazon are teaming up for a new TV adaptation of King Lear, starring Anthony Hopkins.
Set in the fictional present, King Lear sees Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins as the eponymous ruler, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England. Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner Emma Thompson stars as his oldest daughter Goneril. Academy Award nominee and BAFTA Award winner Emily Watson stars as his middle daughter Regan, and rising star Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) as Cordelia, the youngest of Lear’s children.
Hopkins’ reunion with Emma Thompson for the play marks their third collaboration together. The duo will be directed by Olivier Award winner Richard Eyre, who is also adapting the text for the screen. The cast also includes winner Jim Broadbent as the Earl of Gloucester, Andrew Scott as his loyal son, Edgar, and John Macmillan (Hanna, Chewing Gum) as his illegitimate son, Edmund. Jim Carter (Downton Abbey, Cranford) as the Earl of Kent, Christopher Eccleston as Oswald, Tobias Menzies (Outlander) as the Duke of Cornwall, Anthony Calf (New Tricks, Riviera) as the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson (Wittgenstein, Rome) as Lear’s loyal jester, the Foo, complete the ensemble.
The film is produced by BBC Two, Golden Globe, BAFTA and RTS Award-winning drama producer Playground and Olivier and Tony Award-winning producer Sonia Friedman Productions.
Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman, Executive Producers, say: “It is a tribute to the great Richard Eyre that we have brought together such a remarkable cast. The film is a testament to the BBC’s on-going commitment to the single drama, and we are very appreciative of their continued support.”
“We are particularly excited to be working with Amazon and their support for the film reflects their emergence as a leading global brand of top quality drama,” add Callender and Friedman.
The film was commissioned by the BBC and will premiere on BBC Two in the UK in 2018. Amazon Studios is co-producing and will air the film exclusively in the USA and Germany. Amazon Prime Video will also air the drama in the UK, following the BBC’s run.
Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition, Amazon Prime Video, says: “Playground has an incredible track record of producing award-worthy series and films, and we are delighted to work with them and SFP on bringing such a star-studded, exciting adaptation to Prime members.”
Principal photography begins this month.