The broadcasters have revealed the first image of the TV movie version of the Shakespeare adaptation with Hopkins as Lear with Florence Pugh as his youngest daughter Cordelia. The drama, which is produced by Colin Callender’s Playground and Sonia Friedman Productions, is a contemporary take on the play with Richard Eyre directing.
Set in the fictional present, King Lear sets Hopkins as the eponymous ruler, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England. Thompson stars as his eldest daughter Goneril with Emily Watson as middle daughter Regan. Jim Broadbent is the Earl of Gloucester, Andrew Scott his loyal son Edgar and John Macmillan his illegitimate offspring Edmund.
Further completing the cast are Downton Abbey‘s Jim Carter, The Leftovers‘ Christopher Eccleston, Outlander‘s Tobias Menzies, Anthony Calf (Riviera) and Karl Johnson (Rome).
Shakespeare’s tragedy follows Lear’s gradual descent into madness after he disposes of his kingdom giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him and with terrible consequences for all.
Eyre directed Playground and Sonia Friedman Productions’ BBC drama The Dresser in which Hopkins starred along with Watson. Producer is Noëlette Buckley (The Dresser, Wolf Hall). Executive producers include Callender and Scott Huff for Playground, Friedman and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Great Point Media will represent international rights.