Press Office

Friday 18 Apr 2014

Press Release

Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston confirmed to play Henry IV and Henry V

Casting announced for Henry IV and Henry V from Neal Street Productions along with NBCUniversal International and WNET, continuing the series of Shakespeare history films commissioned by BBC Two for their Shakespeare season in 2012.

Jeremy Irons (The Borgias, The Man In The Iron Mask) has been confirmed as Henry IV, supported by Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Wallander) as Prince Hal. Hiddleston will go on to play Henry V in the final film of the cycle. Simon Russell Beale (Spooks, The Gathering) will play Falstaff in Henry IV.

Henry IV will be directed by Sir Richard Eyre (Notes On A Scandal, Iris) and the acclaimed theatre director Thea Sharrock will direct Henry V.

Henry V will be the next film to go into production later in the year and has been adapted by Ben Power, Associate Director of The National Theatre. Filming on Henry IV will start in January. Alan MacDonald (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Queen) and Donal Woods (Downton Abbey, Cranford) will be the Production Designers on Henry V and Henry IV respectively.

This continues the incredibly high calibre of cast, directors and crew involved in the first of this series, Richard II. Starring Ben Whishaw (The Hour, Criminal Justice) and Rory Kinnear (The NT's Hamlet, Women In Love) Richard II completed filming in July and is currently in post production helmed by director Rupert Goold. With its stunning array of locations and world-class cinematography it has undoubtedly set the bar high for the remaining productions.

Pippa Harris (Starter For Ten, Stuart: A Life Backwards), Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) and Gareth Neame (Downton Abbey, State Of Play) are Executive Producers. The producer is Rupert Ryle-Hodges, co-producer of Cranford.

The films were commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama and Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two. The Shakespeare season is part of the BBC's Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival programming, further details of which will be announced later in the year.

Pippa Harris, Executive Producer, Neal Street Productions, says: "We are delighted to confirm Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston as our remaining Kings who, along with Ben Whishaw as Richard II, are leading a phenomenally talented ensemble of cast and crew. With the support of NBCUniversal and the BBC, we have been able to bring a new scale to the films never before attempted for television."

Gareth Neame, Executive Producer, NBCUniversal International, says: "This exciting new cycle of Shakespeare history is shaping up incredibly well with the wonderful actors who are coming on board. NBCUniversal is delighted to be a part of bringing these ambitious productions to the screen."

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says: "This latest news that Jeremy Irons is confirmed to play Henry IV, directed by Sir Richard Eyre, and Tom Hiddleston as Henry V, directed by Thea Sharrock, confirms that our adaptations of Shakespeare's plays are going to be some of the most ambitious television of recent years."

MO

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