Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Jessica Raine join cast of BBC2 drama, Wolf Hall

All-star cast announced for BBC Two adaptation

image

Homeland star Damian Lewis is to play Henry VII alongside Mark Rylance‘s Thomas Cromwell in the new BBC Two six-part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novel, Wolf Hall.

Written by Oscar-nominated Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), the drama follows the meteoric rise of Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as the son of a blacksmith to becoming King Henry VIII’s closest advisor.

Other cast announced is Claire Foy (The Promise) as the calculating and ambitious Anne Boleyn; Jonathan Pryce (Cranford) portrays the ostentatious and powerful Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Joanne Whalley (The Borgias) will play Henry’s first wife Katherine of Aragon, Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as the haughty Stephen Gardiner, Secretary to the King, Anton Lesser (Endeavour) as the heretic hunter Thomas More.

Mathieu Amalric (The Grand Budapest Hotel) stars as Ambassador of Spain Chapuys, Charity Wakefield (Sense & Sensibility), as Anne’s sister Mary Boleyn, Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife) plays Anne’s sister-in-law Jane Rochford, Bernard Hill (Five Days) as the King’s military commander the Duke of Norfolk, Richard Dillane (The Dark Knight) as the king’s brother-in-law the Duke of Suffolk, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game Of Thrones) as Cromwell’s ward Rafe Sadler, Natasha Little (Case Histories) as Cromwell’s wife Liz, and Saskia Reeves (Turks & Caicos) as her sister Johane.

Mark Rylance says: “I love it when an author, such as Hilary Mantel, does her research and discovers an original understanding of a very familiar piece of history. Even during our rehearsals her detailed imagination of the world of Thomas Cromwell is alive in Peter Straughan’s ingenious and faithful adaptation. I have to say, after my experience on The Government Inspector, I would gladly take part in any film that Peter Kosminsky makes. His ability to grasp complex political situations and bring them to life on film seems particularly suited for this material. Myself aside, I feel he has cast Wolf Hall with a superb eye for character and all the nuanced humanity Ms Mantel’s masterpieces deserve.”

The drama is a co-production of Company Pictures and Playground for BBC Two and MASTERPIECE (co-producers of Downton Abbey, Sherlock) in association with BBC Worldwide, Prescience and Altus Productions.

Filming of Wolf Hall has begun in the South West of England for transmission in 2015 on BBC Two.