Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen are to star in a BBC2 adaptation of Sir Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser and BBC1 is planning a drama from a duo of James Bond writers.


The projects will be announced on Wednesday evening by BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson at an event showcasing the corporation’s work in the genre.

The Dresser will air as a 120-minute film and provides a portrait of theatre life backstage. It is made by Sonia Friedman Productions and Playground Entertainment, the indie run by former HBO Films boss Colin Callender.

Callender will executive produce alongside Sonia Friedman. The Dresser was ordered by Stephenson and BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw.

Meanwhile, former Carnival Films creative director Sally Woodward Gentle has secured her first order for Sid Gentle Films.

She is working with James Bond writers Robert Wade and Neal Purvis to make SSGB - a 5 x 60-minute 1940s detective series set in a fictional Nazi-occupied London.

Woodward Gentle will executive produce with Lee Morris. Stephenson ordered the series alongside BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore.