Colm Meaney (Hell On Wheels) and Mattias Inwood have booked regular roles on 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 (Laurie 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.
Meaney will play James Burbage, a carpenter with a vision: to build the first theatre in London since Roman times, a 3,000-seat auditorium that became so famous it was simply called The Theatre. Actor, producer, and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants entrepreneur, James must battle the authorities, rival theatres, and a fickle and at times riotous public to keep himself and his company of talented misfits afloat. Inwood will play Richard Burbage, James’ son. Although innately talented, he is a little too much in love with himself and prone to overact. Through personal tragedy and Will’s influence, Richard eventually realizes that there is more to being an actor than the crowd’s adoration and he and Will go on to form the greatest actor-writer partnership the world has ever seen.
Meaney will next be seen on the big screen in a starring role in Nick Hamm’s The Journey opposite Timothy Spall. His other TV credits include a starring role on AMC’s Hell On Wheels and he also appeared in Syfy’s Childhood’s End miniseries. Mattias, repped by Principato-Young Entertainment and Johnson & Laird, recurred on MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles.