Wolf Hall to film final chapter
Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Jonathan Pryce to return to acclaimed Thomas Cromwell tale.
Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Jonathan Pryce will return for a second and final season of Wolf Hall, to begin production in the UK soon.
The BBC and Masterpiece PBS have announced Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light, based on the final novel in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy.
The six part series will trace the final four years of Cromwell’s life, completing his journey from self-made man to the most feared, influential figure of his time. Cromwell is as complex as he is unforgettable: a politician and a fixer, a diplomat and a father, a man who both defied and defined his age.
Mark Rylance will return as Thomas Cromwell, Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII, and Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey.
Also returning are Kate Phillips as Henry VIII’s third wife Jane Seymour and Lilit Lesser as Princess Mary, the daughter of Henry and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Further returning and new cast members will be announced in due course.
Reuniting the creative team are director Peter Kosminsky (The Undeclared War, The State), screenwriter Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Frank) and producer Colin Callender’s Playground (The Undeclared War, All Creatures Great and Small) and Company Pictures (Van Der Valk, Blood).
Director Peter Kosminsky says: “The Mirror and the Light picks up exactly where Wolf Hall ended, with the execution of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. I’m overjoyed to be able to reunite the extraordinary cast we were lucky enough to assemble for Wolf Hall, led by the brilliant Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, with the original creative team of Gavin Finney (DOP), Pat Campbell (Designer) and Joanna Eatwell (Costume Designer). We are all determined to complete what we started – and to honour the final novel written by one of the greatest literary figures of our age, Hilary Mantel.”
Colin Callender, CEO of Playground, says “Following the success of the BAFTA and Golden Globe winning original television adaptation of the first two books in Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed Wolf Hall trilogy, we are thrilled and honoured that, nine years later, we have been able re-unite Peter Kosminsky and his brilliant team, in front of and behind the camera, to bring Thomas Cromwell ‘s final chapter to the screen. Intimate, thrilling, and deeply moving, The Mirror and the Light shines a fresh light on the politics of power and the personal price paid by those who wield it. Cromwell’s story is as contemporary as ever – a story of loyalty and betrayal that just happens to be about people 500 years ago.”
May, 1536. Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, is dead. As the axe drops, Thomas Cromwell emerges from the bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.
Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, and no private army. Navigating the moral complexities that accompany the exercise of power in this brutal and bloody time, Cromwell is caught between his desire to do what is right and his instinct to survive. But in the wake of Henry VIII having executed his queen, no one is safe.
Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows.
The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?
Wolf Hall has screened in Australia on BBC First and ABC.