King lear

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson will star in King Lear for BBC Two and Amazon Prime Video.

Richard Eyre (Notes On A Scandal) will direct the pair in the for-television Shakespeare adaptation. Principal photography begins this month.

Set in the present day, King Lear will see Hopkins play the eponymous rule, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England. Thompson stars as his oldest daughter Goneril.

The cast will also feature Emily Watson, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Eccleston, Tobias Menzies, Anthony Calf, Karl Johnson, and 2016 Screen Star of Tomorrow and Lady Macbeth breakout Florence Pugh.

King Lear has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC and will be produced by Playground (Wolf Hall), Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited for BBC Two. The drama is a co-production with Amazon Studios.

Noëlette Buckley is producing. 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 for the project at MIPCOM.

Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman commented: “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, 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.