Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix trilogy) are set for lead roles opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in five-part limited series Patrick Melrose (fka Melrose). In addition, Edward Berger (Deutchland 83, Jack) has been tapped to direct.
The project, a co-production of Showtime and Sky Atlantic, is based on the Patrick Melrose series of semi-autobiographical novels written by Edward St. Aubyn. David Nicholls (Far From the Madding Crowd) is penning the TV adaptation.
Melrose skewers the upper class as it tracks the protagonist’s harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood through adult substance abuse and, ultimately, toward recovery. Leigh and Weaving will play Patrick Melrose’s (Cumberbatch) parents. Anna Madeley, who also joins the cast, will play Melrose’s wife.
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With each episode devoted to one of the five novels, the series will encompass the saga of Patrick Melrose’s life, from his horribly abusive youth at the hands of his father (Weaving) and the mother who tacitly condones the behavior (Leigh), to the outrageous playboy he becomes and the struggles he endures to defy the damage of his own past. The limited series will be a true television saga, from Nicholls’ adaptation, sweeping through the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000’s.
Leigh received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her work in The Hateful Eight and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, as well as four individual Film Independent Spirit Award nominations for her performances in Anomalisa, Margot at the Wedding, Georgia and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. She appears in the limited series Twin Peaks, currently airing on Showtime and previously recurred on Weeds.
Weaving is known for his roles as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy and Elrond in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Weaving’s other notable film roles include Hacksaw Ridge, The Hobbit, The Cloud Atlas, Captain America: The First Avenger, V for Vendetta and his breakout performance in the award-winning Australian drama Proof.
Madeley has had an extensive career on the British stage and on television, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and with the BBC. Most recently, Madeley appeared in the television production of The Crown.
A native of Germany, Berger has won the International Emmy Award, two Adolf Grimme Awards for directing, most recently in 2016 for Deutchland 83, and a German Academy Award for his film Jack, which premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Michael Jackson and Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball) executive produce alongside Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland. Patrick Melrose will be the first production for Two Cities Television, the drama banner recently formed by Jackson, former Channel Four and IAC executive.
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