Principal photography has begun on The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses, a Neal Street co-production with Carnival/NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC Two, filming in locations around the UK.
In the US, the series will be transmitted on PBS by Great Performances, produced by Thirteen Productions LLC for WNET.
Following an outstanding critical and audience reaction to the BAFTA Award-winning The Hollow Crown series in 2012, Neal Street Productions and Carnival Films/NBCUniversal bring the concluding part of this ambitious cycle of Shakespeare's History plays to the screen in three further filmed adaptations, Henry VI (in 2 parts) and Richard III.
Assembling some of the UK's finest acting talent and, in addition to the stellar cast recently confirmed - Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Keeley Hawes and Tom Sturridge - new names revealed today are - Michael Gambon as Mortimer, Philip Glenister as Talbot, Andrew Scott as King Louis, Jason Watkins as Suffolk, Samuel West as the Bishop of Winchester, Stanley Townsend as Warwick, Adrian Dunbar as Plantagenet, Geoffrey Streatfield as Edward IV, Ben Daniels as Buckingham, Ben Miles as Somerset, Sam Troughton as George, Stuart McQuarrie as Vernon, Anton Lesser as Exeter, Kyle Soller as Clifford, Phoebe Fox as Anne, James Fleet as Hastings and Lucy Robinson as Young Cecily.
Cast list for each film follows at end of release.
Sam Mendes, executive producer for Neal Street Productions, had this to say in his statement.
"After the critical and popular success of the first part of The Hollow Crown - and seven years after we very first suggested the idea to the BBC - I am delighted to announce the start of principal photography on the second half of this magnificent epic story. Yet again we have assembled an amazing cast - led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, and Sophie Okonedo, amongst many others - under the direction of the hugely talented Dominic Cooke. I'm very excited indeed to see them all bring the rest of this astonishing story to life."
Reuniting the creative team at Neal Street Productions, who were behind The Hollow Crown, the films are a Neal Street co-production with Carnival/NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC. Dominic Cooke (former Artistic Director of The Royal Court theatre) will make his TV directorial debut with the three films. Ben Powerr (Associate Director of The National Theatre), who previously wrote the screenplays for Richard II and Henry V, has adapted the cycle for the screen. Rupert Ryle-Hodges also returns as producer.
Cast announced for each film:
Henry VI part 1
Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Hugh Bonneville (Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester), Sally Hawkins (Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester), Tom Sturridge (Henry VI), Adrian Dunbar (Plantagenet), Stuart McQuarrie (Vernon), Lucy Robinson (Young Cecily), Samuel West (the Bishop of Winchester), Stanley Townsend (Warwick), Michael Gambon (Mortimer), Anton Lesser (Exeter), Ben Miles (Somerset), Jason Watkins (Suffolk) and Philip Glenister (Talbot).
Henry VI part 2
Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III), Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Keeley Hawes (Queen Elizabeth), Tom Sturridge (Henry VI), Adrian Dunbar (Plantagenet), Geoffrey Streatfield (Edward IV), Sam Troughton (George), Stuart McQuarrie (Vernon), Kyle Soller (Clifford), Lucy Robinson (Young Cecily), Stanley Townsend (Warwick), Anton Lesser (Exeter), Ben Daniels (Buckingham), Ben Miles (Somerset), Jason Watkins (Suffolk), Phoebe Fox (Anne), James Fleet (Hastings) and Andrew Scott (King Louis).
Judi Dench (Cecily, Duchess of York), Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III), Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Keeley Hawes (Queen Elizabeth), Geoffrey Streatfield (Edward IV), Sam Troughton (George), Ben Daniels (Buckingham), James Fleet (Hastings) and Phoebe Fox (Anne).
The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses is a Neal Street co-production with Carnival/NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC. Executive producers are Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown for Neal Street Productions, David Horn for THIRTEEN and Gareth Neame for Carnival Films/NBCUniversal. It was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama commissioning.
Take a look at the first image featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III, and stay tuned for more details regarding this new series.