Anthony Hopkins + Emma Thompson lead all-star ensemble as KING LEAR Cast Announced For BBC Two + Amazon Prime Video | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Anthony Hopkins + Emma Thompson lead all-star ensemble as KING LEAR Cast Announced For BBC Two + Amazon Prime Video


05 October 2017

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson lead all-star ensemble cast

Richard Eyre to direct Shakespeare adaptation

BBC Two, Amazon Prime Video, Golden Globe®, BAFTA®, and RTS® Award-winning drama producer Playground and Olivier® and Tony® Award-winning producer Sonia Friedman Productions announced that Anthony Hopkins (The Dresser, Nixon, Silence of the Lambs) and Emma Thompson (The Children Act, The Remains of the Day, Sense and Sensibility) reunite in their third collaboration and lead an all-star cast for their upcoming production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, adapted and directed by BAFTA® and Olivier® Award-winning director Richard Eyre (The Dresser, Notes on a Scandal). Principal photography begins this month.

The film for television 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.

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 (Theory of Everything, Genius) stars as his middle daughter Regan, and rising star Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth, Marcella) as Cordelia, the youngest of Lear’s children.

Academy® Award and BAFTA® Award winner Jim Broadbent (Iris, Game of Thrones) takes the role of the Earl of Gloucester, BAFTA® Award winner Andrew Scott (Sherlock, The Hollow Crown) as his loyal son Edgar and John Macmillan (Hanna, Chewing Gum) as his illegitimate son Edmund.

Emmy® Award nominated Jim Carter (Downton Abbey, Cranford) takes the role of the Earl of Kent, Emmy® Award winner Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers, Thor: The Dark World) as Oswald, and Golden Globe® nominee 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.

“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,” Colin Callender, and Sonia Friedman Executive Producers said. “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, said “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.”

“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,” said Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition, Amazon Prime Video.

King Lear has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC, and will be produced by Playground (Wolf Hall, Howards End, Little Women) and Sonia Friedman Productions (The Dresser) in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited for BBC Two. The drama is a co-production with Amazon Studios. 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 will represent international rights in the project from MIPCOM 2017.

About Playground
Playground is a New York and London based television, film and theatre production company founded in 2012 by award-winning producer Colin Callender. It is committed to producing smart, entertaining drama for the screen and the stage bringing together the finest US and UK talent from the worlds of theatre, film, and television.

Playground has produced over 60 hours of prime-time television drama garnering 15 Emmy® nominations, 20 BAFTA® nominations and 12 Golden Globe® nominations, including winning a Golden Globe® for Best Miniseries.

Recent productions include Wolf Hall, the BAFTA®, Golden Globe® and Peabody® Award winning miniseries starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Claire Foy for the BBC and Masterpiece, and The Dresser, the RTS® winning television adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s acclaimed play starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins and directed by Richard Eyre for the BBC and Starz.

Alongside King Lear, Playground’s slate this year includes The White Princess, a limited series for Starz drawn from the bestselling book by Philippa Gregory, Howards End, Academy® Award winner Kenneth Lonergan’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s classic novel starring Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Tracey Ullman directed by Hettie Macdonald for the BBC and Starz, and Heidi Thomas’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women starring Emily Watson, Michael Gambon and Angela Lansbury for the BBC and Masterpiece on PBS.

Playground’s recent theatre productions on Broadway include: Nora Ephron’s Tony® nominated Lucky Guy directed by George C. Wolfe starring Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut, Harvey Fierstein’s Tony® nominated Casa Valentina directed by Joe Mantello, the Tony® Award winning revival of musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s critically acclaimed groundbreaking production of Macbeth at The Park Avenue Armory in New York.

Playground is currently represented on Broadway, with this year’s Tony® Award winning best musical Dear Evan Hansen, and in the West End, in partnership with Sonia Friedman Productions, with John Tiffany's The Glass Menagerie, Casey Nicholaw’s Dreamgirls, and the hit two-part play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which recently won a record-breaking 9 Olivier® Awards.

About Sonia Friedman Productions
Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP) is a West End and Broadway production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in the last few years in London and New York.

Since 1990, SFP has developed, initiated and produced over 170 new productions for the stage and together they have won a staggering 46 Olivier® Awards including a record-breaking 14 at the 2014 Awards. The company has also won 18 Tonys®.

This year, Sonia Friedman OBE was awarded 'Producer of the Year' at the Stage Awards for the third year in a row as well as taking the number one spot in 'The Stage 100', becoming the first in the history of the compilation to top the list who does not own or operate West End theatres and the first solo woman to top the list for almost 20 years.

West End and Broadway productions include: the UK premiere of The Book of Mormon, The Ferryman, Ink, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (in partnership with Playground), the UK premiere of Dreamgirls, Hamlet (Andrew Scott), 1984, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Travesties, The Glass Menagerie, Nice Fish, A Christmas Carol, Funny Girl, Farinelli and The King, Hamlet (Benedict Cumberbatch), Sunny Afternoon, Bend It Like Beckham, The Nether, The River, Electra, King Charles III, Shakespeare in Love, Ghosts, Mojo, Chimerica, Merrily We Roll Along, Old Times, Twelfth Night and Richard III, A Chorus of Disapproval, The Sunshine Boys, Hay Fever, Absent Friends, Top Girls, Betrayal, Much Ado About Nothing, Clybourne Park, The Children’s Hour, A Flea in Her Ear, La Bête, All My Sons, Private Lives, Jerusalem, A Little Night Music, Legally Blonde, Othello, Arcadia, The Mountaintop, The Norman Conquests, A View From the Bridge, Dancing at Lughnasa, Maria Friedman: Re-Arranged, La Cage aux Folles, No Man’s Land, The Seagull, Under the Blue Sky, That Face, Dealer’s Choice, Hergés Adventures of Tintin, In Celebration, Boeing-Boeing, The Dumb Waiter, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Love Song, Faith Healer, Bent, Eh Joe, Donkeys’ Years, Otherwise Engaged, Celebration, Shoot the Crow, As You Like It, The Home Place, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, By the Bog of Cats, The Woman in White, Guantanamo: ‘Honor Bound to Defend Freedom’, Endgame, Jumpers, See You Next Tuesday, Hitchcock Blonde, Absolutely! {Perhaps}, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Ragtime, Macbeth, What the Night Is For, Afterplay, Up for Grabs, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Noises Off, On an Average Day, A Servant to Two Masters, Port Authority, Spoonface Steinberg and Speed-The-Plow.

Television productions include: Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser (BBC Two) and Wolf Hall (BBC Two), in partnership with Playground.

Forthcoming productions include: Farinelli and the King starring Mark Rylance at the Belasco Theater, New York, The Birthday Party at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre, New York, and Travesties at The American Airlines Theatre, New York.

About Great Point Media
Great Point Media specializes in development, investment and exploitation of intellectual property in entertainment media. Recent projects backed by Great Point Media include Lady Macbeth, Christine, Euphoria, Little Women and The Party.

About Amazon Video
Amazon Video is a premium on-demand entertainment service that offers customers the greatest choice in what to watch, and how to watch it. Amazon Video is the only service that provides all of the following:

· Prime Video: Thousands of movies and TV shows, including popular licensed content plus critically-acclaimed and award-winning Amazon Original Series and Movies from Amazon Studios like Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, Love & Friendship and kids series Tumble Leaf, available for unlimited streaming as part of an Amazon Prime membership. Prime Video is also now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe.

· Amazon Channels: Over 100 channel subscriptions that Prime members can add to their membership, including HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax, PBS KIDS, Acorn TV and more, plus Anime Strike – the first curated on-demand subscription by Amazon Channels.

· Rent or Own: Hundreds of thousands of titles, including new-release movies and current TV shows available for on-demand rental or purchase for all Amazon customers

· Instant Access: Instantly watch anytime, anywhere through the Amazon Video app on TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online. For a list of all compatible devices visit 

· Premium Features: Top features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and mobile downloads for offline viewing of select content

In addition to Prime Video, the Prime membership includes unlimited fast free shipping options across all categories available on Amazon, more than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music, secure photo storage with Prime Photos, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, unlimited access to a digital audiobook catalogue with Audible Channels for Prime, a rotating selection of free digital games and in-game loot with Twitch Prime, early access to select Lightning Deals, exclusive access and discounts to select items, and more. To sign-up for Prime or to find out more visit: www.amazon.com/prime.

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