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06/10/2017

BBC Two Announce Star-Studded King Lear Cast

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It has been announced that Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are to lead a star-studded cast in a BBC Two adaptation of William Shakespeare's famous work, King Lear.

The production will be adapted and directed by BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning director Richard Eyre.

Set in the fictional present, King Lear sees Anthony Hopkins star as the eponymous ruler, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England. He is joined by Emma Thompson as his oldest daughter Goneril. Emily Watson stars as his middle daughter Regan, with Florence Pugh as Cordelia, the youngest of King Lear's children. Jim Broadbent takes on the role of the Earl of Gloucester, Andrew Scott as his loyal son Edgar and John Macmillan as his illegitimate son Edmund.

In addition, Jim Carter will play the role of the Earl of Kent, Christopher Eccleston as Oswald, and Tobias Menzies plays the Duke of Cornwall. Anthony Calf is cast as the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson is set to play Lear's loyal jester the Fool.

King Lear has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC, and will be produced by Playground and Sonia Friedman Productions, in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited for BBC Two. The drama is a co-production with Amazon Studios. The producer is Noëlette Buckley, with executive producers Colin Callender and Scott Huff for Playground, Sonia Friedman for Sonia Friedman Productions, and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Great Point Media will represent international rights in the project from MIPCOM 2017.

Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman, Executive Producers, said: "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, added: "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, commented: "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. The film is commissioned by the BBC and will premiere on BBC Two in the UK in 2018. Amazon Studios is co-producing and taking US and German rights. Amazon Prime Video will also air the drama in the UK, following the BBC's run.

www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre

(JP/LM)
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