EXCLUSIVE: Hettie Macdonald (Fortitude) has come on board to direct the BBC’s miniseries adaptation of Howards End, based on the classic EM Forster novel which was turned into an Oscar-winning Merchant Ivory feature in 1992. The four-part drama is produced by Colin Callender’s Playground in association with City Entertainment and KippSterEntertainment.

As Deadline previously reported, Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and playwright Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me, Gangs Of New York) is penning the series which explores the changing landscape of social and class divisions in early 20th century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working class Basts.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala won an Oscar for her feature script adaptation and Emma Thompson won one for her star-making turn as Margaret Schlegel. Production on the mini is set to begin this summer.

Macdonald directed three eps of both seasons of Sky Atlantic-Pivot’s event TV series Fortitude, produced by Fifty Fathoms Productions, set on the edge of the Arctic Circle in a town, which had previously never suffered a violent crime. She is repped by Independent Talent Group and Paradigm.