‘Wolf Hall’ Producer Playground Wins Auction For Hot Novel ‘The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock’

EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Colin Callender’s Wolf Hall and The White Queen outfit Playground Entertainment has won film and TV rights to best-selling debut novel The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock. 
Imogen Hermes Gowar’s lauded historical-fantasy, rich in sexual politics and power games, has long-been talked about as one of the hottest new UK fiction books of 2018 and was published earlier this year by Vintage who paid a six figure advance for it after a 10-publisher…

EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Colin Callender’s Wolf Hall and The White Queen outfit Playground Entertainment has won film and TV rights to best-selling debut novel The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock.  Imogen Hermes Gowar’s lauded historical-fantasy, rich in sexual politics and power games, has long-been talked about as one of the hottest new UK fiction books of 2018 and was published earlier this year by Vintage who paid a six figure advance for it after a 10-publisher…

Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson Lead ‘King Lear’ Adaptation for BBC, Amazon Prime

An all-star cast joins an upcoming adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” which will air on BBC Two and Amazon Prime in 2018.

Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are reuniting for their third collaboration together in the production. Hopkins will play the titular ruler while Thompson will play his eldest daughter, Goneril.

This version will take place in an alternate present-day reality where Lear presides over a military dictatorship in England. In the play, an elderly king who’s descending into madness makes the decision to split his kingdom among his three daughters, which sends the land into chaos.

Also Read: #ShakespeareInTheTrump: ‘Julius Caesar’ Backlash Mocked With Trump-Takes on Bard’s Works

Joining Thompson as Lear’s other daughters are Emily Watson (“Theory of Everything”) as the middle daughter Regan and Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) as Cordelia, the youngest.

“King Lear” will also star Jim Broadbent (“Gangs of New York”) as the Earl of Gloucester, Andrew Scott (“Sherlock”) as his son Edgar and John Macmillan (“Hanna”) as his illegitimate son Edmund.

Other castmembers include Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) as the Earl of Kent, Christopher Eccleston (“The Leftovers”) as Oswald, Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”) as the Duke of Cornwall, Anthony Calf (“Riviera”) as the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson (“Rome”) as Lear’s jester.

Also Read: Anthony Hopkins Compares ‘Genius’ Michael Bay to Spielberg, Scorsese

BAFTA Award winner Richard Eyre (“Notes on a Scandal”) will be directing the TV movie.

“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,” executive producers Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman said.

“King Lear” was commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC and will air on BBC Two. It’ was produced by Playground (Wolf Hall”) and Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited. It is a co-production with Amazon Studios.

Other producers include Scott Huff and Lucy Richer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Emma Thompson Says Trump Once Asked Her Out: ‘I Didn’t Know What to Do’ (Video)

‘The Dresser’ Star Anthony Hopkins Exclusive Portraits (Photos)

Anthony Hopkins Regrets Making ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Red Dragon’

An all-star cast joins an upcoming adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” which will air on BBC Two and Amazon Prime in 2018.

Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are reuniting for their third collaboration together in the production. Hopkins will play the titular ruler while Thompson will play his eldest daughter, Goneril.

This version will take place in an alternate present-day reality where Lear presides over a military dictatorship in England. In the play, an elderly king who’s descending into madness makes the decision to split his kingdom among his three daughters, which sends the land into chaos.

Joining Thompson as Lear’s other daughters are Emily Watson (“Theory of Everything”) as the middle daughter Regan and Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) as Cordelia, the youngest.

“King Lear” will also star Jim Broadbent (“Gangs of New York”) as the Earl of Gloucester, Andrew Scott (“Sherlock”) as his son Edgar and John Macmillan (“Hanna”) as his illegitimate son Edmund.

Other castmembers include Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) as the Earl of Kent, Christopher Eccleston (“The Leftovers”) as Oswald, Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”) as the Duke of Cornwall, Anthony Calf (“Riviera”) as the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson (“Rome”) as Lear’s jester.

BAFTA Award winner Richard Eyre (“Notes on a Scandal”) will be directing the TV movie.

“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,” executive producers Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman said.

“King Lear” was commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC and will air on BBC Two. It’ was produced by Playground (Wolf Hall”) and Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited. It is a co-production with Amazon Studios.

Other producers include Scott Huff and Lucy Richer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emma Thompson Recalls Defending Hayley Atwell From Body-Shaming Movie Producer (Video)

Emma Thompson Says Trump Once Asked Her Out: 'I Didn't Know What to Do' (Video)

'The Dresser' Star Anthony Hopkins Exclusive Portraits (Photos)

Anthony Hopkins Regrets Making 'Hannibal,' 'Red Dragon'

‘Howards End’ EP On How The Period Drama Is Still Relevant Today — TCA

The exec producer and cast of the upcoming mini-series Howards End were on hand for the Starz portion of the TCA confab to speak on how the period piece is still relevant to modern time.
Based on the classic E.M. Forster novel, with Oscar-winning scribe Kenneth Lonergan writing the TV adaptation, the four-part drama explores the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing…

The exec producer and cast of the upcoming mini-series Howards End were on hand for the Starz portion of the TCA confab to speak on how the period piece is still relevant to modern time. Based on the classic E.M. Forster novel, with Oscar-winning scribe Kenneth Lonergan writing the TV adaptation, the four-part drama explores the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing…

Colin Callender’s Playground Ups Sophie Gardiner, Hires Melissa Gallant

Bolstering its UK team, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment has promoted Sophie Gardiner to Head of Drama, Executive Creative Director and hired Melissa Gallant as Creative Director to work alongside Katie Draper. Gardiner was previously Creative Director and will now oversee Playground’s growing UK television production and development slate. That includes the adaptation of Howards End which is penned by Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan for the BBC and Starz; the…

Bolstering its UK team, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment has promoted Sophie Gardiner to Head of Drama, Executive Creative Director and hired Melissa Gallant as Creative Director to work alongside Katie Draper. Gardiner was previously Creative Director and will now oversee Playground's growing UK television production and development slate. That includes the adaptation of Howards End which is penned by Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan for the BBC and Starz; the…

‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’ Sets April 2018 Broadway Opening

UPDATE 10:45 AM: Clarifies online ticket sales, below.
EARLIER: The Broadway stand of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open next April 22 at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Lyric Theatre, producers Sonia Friedman, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions announced today. Preview performances, casting and all further details will be announced in the coming months.
The Lyric was recently vacated by Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour and will undergo extensive…

UPDATE 10:45 AM: Clarifies online ticket sales, below. EARLIER: The Broadway stand of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open next April 22 at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Lyric Theatre, producers Sonia Friedman, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions announced today. Preview performances, casting and all further details will be announced in the coming months. The Lyric was recently vacated by Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour and will undergo extensive…

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Sets Broadway Premiere Date

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will have its Broadway premiere on April 22, 2018 at the Lyric Theatre in New York, producers of the play confirmed on Thursday.

Tickets are set to go on sale in the fall of this year via the production’s official website only, for which details will be released soon.

Last month, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” became the most awarded production in the history of Britain’s Olivier Awards, where it won a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play and Best Director. The production has won 22 major theater awards in the UK since opening last July in London.

Also Read: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Breaks Olivier Awards Record With 11 Nominations

The play is based on an original new story by “Harry Potter” scribe J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. Tiffany directs the production, presented in two parts which are intended to be seen in order on the same day or two consecutive evenings.

The play is set when the seventh film left off as Harry (now 37) and Ginny, accompanied by Ron and Hermione, watch their offspring set off from King’s Cross Station for a new term at Hogwarts.

Also Read: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Books Broadway Theater for Spring 2018

The story is the eighth in the Harry Potter series and the first official story to be told on stage. It is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Keeps Magical World Alive in London

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Has Already Sold 3.3 Million Copies

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Sells 2 Million Copies in 2 Days

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will have its Broadway premiere on April 22, 2018 at the Lyric Theatre in New York, producers of the play confirmed on Thursday.

Tickets are set to go on sale in the fall of this year via the production’s official website only, for which details will be released soon.

Last month, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” became the most awarded production in the history of Britain’s Olivier Awards, where it won a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play and Best Director. The production has won 22 major theater awards in the UK since opening last July in London.

The play is based on an original new story by “Harry Potter” scribe J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. Tiffany directs the production, presented in two parts which are intended to be seen in order on the same day or two consecutive evenings.

The play is set when the seventh film left off as Harry (now 37) and Ginny, accompanied by Ron and Hermione, watch their offspring set off from King’s Cross Station for a new term at Hogwarts.

The story is the eighth in the Harry Potter series and the first official story to be told on stage. It is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Keeps Magical World Alive in London

'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Has Already Sold 3.3 Million Copies

'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Sells 2 Million Copies in 2 Days

‘Wolf Hall’ Producer Playground Enters ‘The Spider Network’

Production company Playground, founded by former HBO Films president Colin Callender, has optioned rights to narrative nonfiction book “The Spider Network” by award-winning Wall Street Journal writer David Enrich. Playground produces for film, television and stage but has yet to announce what formats would be developed for “The Spider Network,” an expose of the interest-rate-fixing… Read more »

Production company Playground, founded by former HBO Films president Colin Callender, has optioned rights to narrative nonfiction book “The Spider Network” by award-winning Wall Street Journal writer David Enrich. Playground produces for film, television and stage but has yet to announce what formats would be developed for “The Spider Network,” an expose of the interest-rate-fixing... Read more »