Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson to star in BBC’s ‘King Lear’ adaptation

The BBC has announced an all-star ensemble cast for its upcoming TV version of King Lear.

Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) and Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility) will lead the cast of The Dresser director Richard Eyre’s adaptation.

They’ll be joined by Jim Broadbent (Game of Thrones), Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Emily Watson (The Theory Of Everything) and Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers).

The modern retelling of Shakespeare’s play will be set in a fictional present, starring Hopkins as the eponymous ruler, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England.

Thompson will play his oldest daughter Goneril, Watson will play his middle daughter Regan, and rising star Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) will play Cordelia, the youngest of Lear’s children.

Executive producers Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman commented: “It is a tribute to the great Richard Eyre that we have brought together such a remarkable cast. The film is a testament to the BBC’s on-going commitment to the single drama, and we are very appreciative of their continued support.

“We are particularly excited to be working with Amazon and their support for the film reflects their emergence as a leading global brand of top quality drama.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added: “Richard Eyre has assembled an unmissable cast to embody his vision for a timeless but deeply resonant screen adaptation of King Lear. We are all looking forward to seeing this landmark production come to life on BBC Two.”

King Lear is filming now and will premiere in the UK on BBC Two and in the US on Amazon Prime Video in 2018.