queen-mag <

“The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses” is a lavish three-part follow-up to the BAFTA winning “The Hollow Crown,” which aired in 2013 on THIRTEEN’s “Great Performances.”

The first series of “The Hollow Crown” covered the so-called Henriad comprising Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I and II and Henry V. Now, “The Wars of the Roses” – which comes to “Great Performances” on three consecutive Sundays beginning December 11 at 9 p.m. – picks up the story with epic film versions of Henry VI (in two parts) and Richard III.

The new series aired to great acclaim on the BBC this May. A Neal Street co-production with Carnival/NBCUniversal and THIRTEEN for BBC Two, the series was filmed in locations around the UK. Award-winning director Dominic Cooke (former Artistic Director of The Royal Court theatre) makes his TV directorial debut with the three films.

The series features some of the UK’s finest acting talent including Sophie Okonedo who has been cast to play Queen Margaret.

Okonedo joins Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III, Tom Sturridge as Henry VI, Hugh Bonneville as Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Judi Dench as Cecily, Duchess of York, Sally Hawkins as Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, and Keeley Hawes as Queen Elizabeth.

The Executive Producers are Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown, Gareth Neame, and David Horn. The Producer is Rupert Ryle-Hodges. The Hollow Crown was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, former Controller BBC Drama commissioning.

Sam Mendes, executive producer for Neal Street Productions, said: “Seven years after we very first suggested the idea to the BBC, yet again we have assembled an amazing cast under the direction of the hugely talented Dominic Cooke. I’m very excited indeed to see them all bring the rest of this astonishing story to life.”

Ben Power (Associate Director of The National Theatre), who previously wrote the screenplays for Richard II and Henry V, has adapted the cycle for the screen.

Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.

“The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses” Airs on PBS’ “Great Performances” from December 11 – 25.

Below, watch a clip from the first series, featuring Okonedo as Queen Margaret, followed by another image: