Jeremy Irons is set to film Shakespeare’s Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, as part of the BBC’s 2012 Shakespeare Season, directed by Richard Eyre.
Irons will feature alongside Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal and Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff in Henry IV. Hiddleston will then take the lead role in Henry V, which along with Richard II forms part of the BBC cycle of Shakespeare’s history plays to be broadcast in 2012.
Henry IV will be directed by Sir Richard Eyre, the former director of the National Theatre, with Thea Sharrock taking directing duties on Henry V, which goes into production later this year. Henry IV is due to begin filming in January.
Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes has also signed up to helm four new versions of Shakespeare’s history plays for the BBC, it has been announced.
Mendes will be executive producer of Richard II, Henry IV parts I and II, and Henry V as part of a special season devoted to the Bard planned for 2012. They will be shown on BBC2.
The BBC’s 2012 Shakespeare season will be produced by Neal Street Productions with American partners NBC Universal and WNET.
Involving some of the most pre-eminent Shakespearian actors and directors of our time, the films will consist of bold adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V, set in the Medieval period and filmed on locations around the UK and Europe. These four films will be linked to the Cultural Olympiad of 2012.
More details from the Daily Mail:
Producers will be Rupert Ryle Hodges and executive producers Gareth Neame, Pippa Harris and Sam Mendes.
Julie Walters is in discussions to pull a pint or two as landlady of the infamous Boar’s Head Tavern.
Richard Eyre and Thea Sharrock would like the actress to play Mistress Quickly in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and Henry V, all of which are being filmed for BBC2 to be screened as part of next year’s cultural Olympiad.
The award-winning Ms Walters has agreed to do the project, but it’s a question of making the filming dates work.
Michelle Dockery, who has found much-deserved fame as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, is being approached about playing Lady Percy, Hotspur’s wife, in the Henry IV films.
Joe Armstrong is in negotiations to play Hotspur, and there’s a plan afoot to try to get his father Alun Armstrong to play the Duke of Northumberland — Hotspur’s father. As I told you a while back, Tom Hiddleston is playing Prince Hal, in the two Henry IV dramas, and Henry V.
Richard Eyre will direct the Henry IV films (more than four hours of drama in total).