From the BBC Media Centre:
The definitive cast list for the BBC Two Shakespeare films including Henry IV (Parts I and II) has been confirmed.
Featuring some of the greatest Shakespearean actors and directors of our time, four films have been commissioned by BBC Two for their Shakespeare season in 2012 as part of the BBC’s contribution to the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. The films were commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning and Janice Hadlow, Controller BBC Two.
Set in the medieval period, these bold adaptations of four of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed history plays will produce some of the most ambitious television of recent years. As principal photography begins on Henry V, the previously announced Kings – Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston – will be joined by a phenomenal ensemble cast.
Ben Whishaw said: “Playing Richard II has been a hugely rewarding experience. Working on this beautiful play with Rupert Goold and an amazing cast has been one of the most magical and memorable experiences of my career.”
Jeremy Irons said: “I am most grateful to have this opportunity of returning to Shakespeare, to film under the experienced eye of Richard Eyre, alongside such exciting actors.”
Tom Hiddleston said: “I am incredibly proud and privileged to be playing Prince Hal and Henry V in these new adaptations. He was one of England’s great kings and one of Shakespeare’s great men, and it is an extraordinary honour to have been asked to play him. I will be steeped in mud, blood, and warrior poetry for the next four months, led by two of the greatest directors working today, alongside a group of actors I have admired and respected all my life. I can’t wait.”
Henry IV (Parts I and II)
The second and third films will see Jeremy Irons (The Borgias) playing Henry IV, supported by Tom Hiddleston (Thor) as Prince Hal. Simon Russell Beale (Spooks) will play Falstaff and Julie Walters (Mamma Mia, Mo) will play Mistress Quickly. Hotspur will be played by Joe Armstrong (Robin Hood) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) is to play Lady Percy alongside Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice) as Doll Tearsheet. Lady Northumberland will be played by Niamh Cusack (A Touch of Frost) with Alun Armstrong (New Tricks) as Northumberland. Reece Shearsmith (The League Of Gentlemen) will play the role of Davy, Tom Georgeson (Notes on a Scandal) will play Bardolph, Pistol will be played by Paul Ritter (Friday Night Dinner) and Douglas Henshall (South Riding) will play Mowbray. Iain Glen (Downton Abbey) will play Warwick and Geoffrey Palmer (As Time Goes By) will play Lord Chief Justice.
Completing the confirmed cast of Henry IV are Henry Faber, James Laurenson, David Hayman, Robert Pugh, Alex Clatworthy, Stephen McCole, David Dawson, Ian Conningham and Nick Jones.
Henry IV Production Designer is Donal Woods (Downton Abbey, Cranford). Director of Photography is Ben Smithard (Cranford) with Annie Symons (Gideon’s Daughter, The Crimson Petal and the White) as Costume Designer.
Henry IV is directed and adapted for the screen by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris). Filming on Henry IV will begin in January 2012.