Young William Shakespeare TNT Pilot ‘Will’ Casts Lead, Shekhar Kapur To Direct

Jon Holloway

Young British actor Laurie Davidson has landed the title role in Will, TNT’s drama pilot chronicling the 20s of William Shakespeare. Elizabeth helmer Shekhar Kapur is directing the pilot, which comes from Craig Pearce, the longtime writing partner of auteur filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. It tells the wild story of young William Shakespeare’s (Davidson) arrival onto the punk rock theater scene that was 16th century London – the seductive, violent world where his raw talent faced rioting audiences, religious fanatics and raucous side-shows. It’s described as the hot, contemporary, dangerous version of Shakespeare’s life, played to a modern soundtrack, exposing all his recklessness, lustful temptations and brilliance.

Pearce wrote the script and executive produces with Vince Gerardis, Howard Braunstein and Louise Rosager. The project has had a long development history — it was at one point set up at HBO and once had a straight-to-series order at Pivot,

Davidson is still in drama school, slated to graduate in July 2016. He has done some theater in Europe and had a small role in the 2013 Vampire Academy movie. Davidson is repped by Sophie Holden at Curtis Brown.

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