Masterpiece has just confirmed that erstwhile Homeland star Damian Lewis will play Henry VIII opposite Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in upcoming miniseries Wolf Hall. The adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning historical fiction novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies is a Company Pictures and Playground co-production for BBC Two and Masterpiece. Peter Kosminsky (White Oleander) is directing the six-part drama from a script by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). The story charts Cromwell’s meteoric rise from lowly blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor. Deadline reported in January that Lewis was in talks to play the Tudor King. The confirmed roster of actors now includes Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn; Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey; Joanne Whalley as Katherine of Aragon; Sherlock‘s Mark Gatiss as Stephen Gardiner, Secretary to the King; Anton Lesser as Thomas More; Mathieu Amalric as Ambassador of Spain; Charity Wakefield as Mary Boleyn; Jessica Raine as Jane Rochford; Bernard Hill as the Duke of Norfolk; Richard Dillane as the Duke of Suffolk; Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Cromwell’s ward Rafe Sadler; Natasha Little as Cromwell’s wife Liz; and Saskia Reeves as her sister Johane.
Shooting has started in the southwest of England for air in 2015 on PBS’ Masterpiece and on BBC Two. Colin Callender will exec produce for Playground, John Yorke for Company Pictures, Polly Hill for BBC Two, Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece, Martin Rakusen for BBC Worldwide, and Tim Smith for Prescience and Altus Productions.