Principal photography has begun on BBC Two series The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses. The three filmed adaptations of Shakespeare’s History plays include Richard III and Henry VI in two parts. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Richard III with Judi Dench as Cecily, Duchess of York. New castmembers include Cumberbatch’s Sherlock foil Andrew Scott as King Louis in Henry VI Part II as well as Michael Gambon, Samuel West, Stanley Townsend, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Adrian Dunbar, Ben Daniels, Ben Miles, Kyle Soller, Stuart McQuarrie, Anton Lesser, James Fleet and Phoebe Fox. Previously announced cast inlcudes Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins.
A co-production of Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions with Downton Abbey‘s Carnival Films/NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC Two, The Hollow Crown: Wars Of The Roses will air Stateside on PBS Great Performances. The three films are a follow-up to the 2012 BAFTA winning Hollow Crown series of plays that included Richard II, Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II, and Henry V. They starred Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston.
Dominic Cooke, former Artistic Director of The Royal Court theater, will make his TV directorial debut with the three films. Ben Power, who wrote the screenplays for Richard II and Henry V, adapted the cycle for the screen. Rupert Ryle-Hodges also returns as producer. Mendes, Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown are exec producers for Neal Street with David Horn for Thirteen and Gareth Neame for Carnival Films/NBCUniversal.