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Kosminsky to direct Rylance in Company's Wolf Hall

Kosminsky to direct Rylance in Company's Wolf Hall
Pippa Considine
14 October 2013

Peter Kosminsky will direct Company Pictures and Playground Entertainment's adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for BBC Two and Masterpiece on PBS.

The six-part series will follow the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as the son of a blacksmith to becoming King Henry VIII’s closest advisor. Mark Rylance will star as Thomas Cromwell.

Writer Peter Straughan, who adapted Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare At Goats and co-wrote the recent adaptation of John Le Carre’s spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, will bring both the novels to screen.

Wolf Hall is a co-production of Company Pictures (Elizabeth I, Shameless, The Devil’s Whore, The Shadow Line) and Playground Entertainment (The White Queen, Dancing On The Edge, Dracula) – the US company helmed by Colin Callender – and Masterpiece for BBC Two in association BBC Worldwide.

Ben Stephenson, controller, Drama Commissioning, says: “This collaboration demonstrates the ambition of BBC Two drama and once again takes the scale of our content up another notch.”

Hilary Mantel says: “Peter Straughan’s scripts are a miracle of elegant compression, and I believe that with such a strong team the original material can only be enhanced.” With Peter Kosminsky concurring: "Peter's achievement in distilling almost 1000 pages of stunning prose into six taut, compelling episodes is extraordinary."

Filming will commence in Spring 2014 for transmission in 2015, with further cast still to be announced.

Wolf Hall will see Kosminsky reunited with Rylance, who he last directed in his BAFTA-winning drama The Government Inspector. Kosminsky’s work has spanned Hollywood films such as White Oleander to television films such as Warriors, No Child Of Mine, Britz and most recently Channel 4’s The Promise.

 Polly Hill, BBC head of Independent Drama, will executive produce for BBC Two, Rebecca Eaton will executive produce for Masterpiece, Martin Rakusen and Ben Donald will executive produce for BBC Worldwide, Colin Callender will executive produce for Playground Entertainment and John Yorke will executive produce for Company Pictures.

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