The BBC will start filming a landmark adaptation of Shakespeare‘s King Lear later this month, and as usual they haven’t stinted on the cast.
Sir Anthony Hopkins will star as the dethroned king, whose mental decline sees him eventually rage against the wind on the cliffs at Dover. Sir Anthony’s recent performance in The Dresser makes him perfect for the part, as he depicted an aging but demanding actor getting ready backstage to play Lear in an English regional theater.
Joining him is his Howard’s End and Remains of the Day co-star Emma Thompson, who’ll play Lear’s oldest daughter Goneril alongside Apple Tree Yard‘s Emily Watson and Lady Macbeth star Florence Pugh as his daughters Regan and Cordelia.
And if that wasn’t enough to make it a must-watch, Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston will be popping up as Goneril’s sycophantic servant Oswald; Game of Thrones‘ Jim Broadbent will play the bumbling Earl of Gloucester, who famously loses his eyes in one blood-curdling scene; and Sherlock‘s Andrew Scott will play Edgar, the Earl of Gloucester’s faithful son.
Rounding out the cast are Tobias Menzies (Outlander) as the Duke of Cornwall, Anthony Calf (New Tricks) as the Duke of Albany, Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) as the Earl of Kent, John Macmillan (Hanna) as Edmund, while Karl Johnson (Rome) will play the Fool.
The production follows in the footsteps of The Hollow Crown, a TV retelling of Shakespeare’s history plays that starred Tom Hiddleston, Ben Whishaw and Benedict Cumberbatch.
One of the directors of that series of plays, Richard Eyre, who’s also responsible for films such as Iris and Notes on a Scandal, will helm King Lear.
King Lear is expected to air first in the U.K. in 2018, before being made available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S.
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