EXCLUSIVE: The Happy Prince star Tom Wilkinson has been cast in Belgravia, Carnival Films’ Julian Fellowes-penned British period drama for ITV and Epix.
Deadline understands that Wilkinson, who was nominated for Oscars for his roles in Michael Clayton and In The Bedroom, will play Peregrine, Earl of Brockenhurst in the six-episode series.
Peregrine, tall and handsome in his youth, is a typical aristocrat who has lived his life according to an accepted code, one that he has never questioned. He loves his wife, however, even if their marriage is a courteous but essentially external affair of form and rule, manner and custom. His family circumstances have brought out his depressive tendencies.
He will star alongside The Crown and Downton Abbey star Harriet Walter, who plays the Countess of Brockenhurst. Elsewhere, Star Trek Into Darkness’ Alice Eve, Episodes’ Tamsin Greig and Outcast’s Philip Glenister feature.
Belgravia is a tale of secrets and scandals set in 1840s London and is Fellowes’ follow-up to smash hit period drama Downton Abbey. The series, which is based on Fellowes’ eponymous book, is set in the 19th Century, when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when the Duchess of Richmond throws a party in Brussels for the Duke of Wellington. Among the guests are James and Anne Trenchard, who are living on the profits of newfound trading success. Their young daughter Sophia has caught the eye of Edmund Bellasis, the son and heir of one of the richest and most prominent families in England. Twenty-five years later, when the two families are settled into the newly developed area of Belgravia, the events of the ball, and the secrets, still resonate.
The book, which was published in 2016, was originally published online in a serial format, similar to that of Charles Dickens’ novels, albeit originally via premium digital book platform Serial Box that also included an audiobook narration by Truly, Madly, Deeply star Juliet Stevenson.
Fellowes is adapting his own novel and the drama is being directed by John Alexander, who has directed series such as BBC thriller Trust Me and Sky’s Jamestown. It is exec produced by Carnival Films Executive Chairman Gareth Neame, Nigel Marchant and Liz Trubridge and produced by Killing Eve producer Colin Wratten.
Wilkinson is repped by Lou Coulson Associates and Principal Entertainment in LA.
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