As we reported last Fall, Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, are headed to BBC Two and PBS in 2015. Filming has begun on Wolf Hall, the small screen adaptation of Mantel’s historical Tudor novels which follow the atmospheric rise to power of Cromwell, the powerful minister, within Henry VIII’s court. The eventual chief minister to the King was born to a blacksmith in Putney and initially came to prominence when he served under Cardinal Wolsey before rising through the ranks to become Henry’s most trusted advisor.
In addition to Tony and Olivier award-winning actor, Mark Rylance, who will play Thomas Cromwell, recent additions include Homeland star Damian Lewis who will play the King, Saskia Reeves (Lewis, Page Eight, Wallander, Vera) has been cast as Cromwell’s sister-in-law Johane with Charity Wakefield (Any Human Heart, Agatha Christie’s Marple) starring as Mary Boleyn, the royal mistress and sister to Henry VIII’s second wife Anne, who will be played by Claire Foy (Little Dorrit, Upstairs Downstairs). Joanne Whalley (Jamaica Inn) will play Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, with the powerful, but ill-fated, Cardinal Wolsey to be played by Jonathan Pryce, Sherlock co-creator/writer, Mark Gatiss, playing a civil servant and Game of Thrones’ Anton Lesser will play Thomas More.
Set for a 2015 premiere, Wolf Hall will be directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Kosminsky (White Oleander, Warriors, No Child of Mine, The Promise) and written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Straughan (The Men Who Stare at Goats, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).