It has been announced that Judi Dench is to star in the new BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch.
Dench will be taking on the role of Cecily, Duchess of York, mother of Richard III and his brothers, alongside the Sherlock star in an upcoming three-part special called The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses. Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville will star as Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, while Oscar-nominee Sophie Okonedo will play Queen Margaret with Keeley Hawes taking on Queen Elizabeth. Henry himself will be played by Tom Sturridge (The Boat that Rocked).
The new mini-series follows on from BBC Two’s successful The Hollow Crown. The previous series won four BAFTAs and starred an equally impressive cast which included Tom Hiddleston, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear.
“To have the chance to work with some of Britain’s most talented actors is a dream come true. We couldn’t be more delighted to have them on board,” said executive producer Pippa Harris.
All three films will be directed by Olivier award-winner Dominic Cooke, best known for his version of The Crucible starring Iain Glen, based on adapted screenplays from fellow Olivier award-winner playwright, Ben Power. The cast for the new series grows increasingly impressive. The new addition of Dench, who is hailed as one of Britain’s acting heroes and has already starred as the likes of Ophelia in Hamlet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, implies that the new series could be following in its predecessor’s successful footsteps.