Acting legends Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are to lead an all-star cast in BBC Two and Richard Eyre and Sonia Friedman Productions’ upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear.
The film will premiere on BBC Two in the UK in 2018, with Amazon Prime Video airing it following the BBC’s run. Amazon is also taking US and German rights.
Set in the fictional present, King Lear stars Hopkins as the eponymous ruler, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England opposite Thompson as his oldest daughter Goneril
Emily Watson (Theory Of Everything, Genius) joins the cast as his middle daughter Regan, and rising star Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth, Marcella) as Cordelia, the youngest of Lear’s children.
Jim Broadbent (Iris, Game Of Thrones) takes the role of the Earl of Gloucester, 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) takes the role of the Earl of Kent, Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers, Thor: The Dark World) as Oswald, and Tobias Menzies (Outlander, The Terror), plays the Duke of Cornwall.
Anthony Calf (New Tricks, Riviera) plays the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson (Wittgenstein, Rome) is set to play Lear’s loyal jester the Fool.
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.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Richard Eyre has assembled an unmissable cast to embody his vision for a timeless but deeply resonant screen adaptation of King Lear.
“We are all looking forward to seeing this landmark production come to life on BBC Two.”
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.”