Hopkins and Thompson to be reunited in King Lear
Television has proved again and again to be a particularly fine media for heavyweight drama. Look at the success of productions like Wolf Hall and The Dresser. I am therefore delighted to hear that the team behind those very shows - Playground and Sonia Friedman Productions - are on board for a big new BBC2 production of King Lear.
The play, set in the present day, will be co-produced with Amazon Studios. It will premier on TV next year before being made available on Amazon video. It boasts a stellar cast headed by Anthony Hopkins in the title role and also including Emma Thompson, Andrew Scott, Jim Broadbent, Emily Watson and Christopher Eccleston.
It will find Hopkins’ Lear ruling a totalitarian military dictatorship in a dystopian version of modern-day England. BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger has described the production as a "timeless but deeply resonant screen adaptation"
This all sounds wonderful to me not least because the great Richard Eyre will be directing and the project reunites Hopkins and Thompson who worked so well together 25 years ago in Howards End and The Remains of the Day.
BBC2 will also be following up another hugely successful Shakespeare adapation - 2016’s The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses which starred Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III.