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Hayley Atwell will star in the BBC, Starz co-production of the novel adaptation “Howard’s End,” which will be adapted by “Manchester by the Sea” director and writer Kenneth Lonergan, Starz announced Wednesday.
The miniseries will be based on the E.M. Forster novel of the same name. Hettie Macdonald will direct all four hour-long episodes.
Executive produced by Playground in association with City Entertainment and KippSter Entertainment, the series will explore the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn of the century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working class Basts.
Atwell will portray Margaret Schlegel and Matthew Macfadyen will portray Henry Wilcox in the adaptation. Tracey Ullman will play Aunt Juley Mund.
Playground’s Colin Callender, City Entertainment’s Joshua D. Maurer and Alixandre Witlin, and KippSter Entertainment’s David A. Stern will executive produce along with Playground’s Sophie Gardiner and Scott Huff and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Laura Hastings-Smith is producing.
Lonergan is a playwright, screenwriter and director. He wrote and directed “Manchester by the Sea,” which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. This will be his first television adaptation.
Starz retains all US multiplatform pay TV rights as well as worldwide multiplatform distribution rights to “Howards End.” BBC retains UK television rights. Rights to use the original novel as source material for the limited series were acquired from Jonathan Sissons at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop, on behalf of the Forster Estate. Starz senior vice president of original programming Karen Bailey serves as the executive in charge.