First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York…

And, even more glorious at the sight of Benedict Cumberbatch perched atop his valiant steed all decked out as King Richard III, the last king of the House of York, as principal photography begins on The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses, a Neal Street co-production with Carnival/NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC Two, filming in locations around the UK.


Cumberbatch in Shakespeare’s Richard III

BBC also revealed that Andrew Scott — who plays  Cumberbatch’s  Sherlock  nemesis, Moriarty — would be joining the cast as King Louis, alongside others including Michael Gambon, Philip Glenister and Jason Watkins.

Following an outstanding critical and audience reaction to the BAFTA Award-winning The Hollow Crown series in 2012, Neal Street Productions and Carnival Films/NBCUniversal bring the concluding part of this ambitious cycle of Shakespeare’s History plays to the screen in three further filmed adaptations, Henry VI (in 2 parts) and Richard III.

Assembling some of the UK’s finest acting talent and, in addition to the stellar cast recently confirmed – Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Keeley Hawes and Tom Sturridge – new names revealed today are – Michael Gambon as Mortimer, Philip Glenister as Talbot, Andrew Scott as King Louis, Jason Watkins as Suffolk, Samuel West as the Bishop of Winchester, Stanley Townsend as Warwick, Adrian Dunbar as Plantagenet, Geoffrey Streatfeild as Edward IV, Ben Daniels as Buckingham, Ben Miles as Somerset, Sam Troughton as George, Stuart McQuarrie as Vernon, Anton Lesser as Exeter, Kyle Soller as Clifford, Phoebe Fox as Anne, James Fleet as Hastings and Lucy Robinson as Young Cecily.

Sam Mendes, executive producer for Neal Street Productions, said: “After the critical and popular success of the first part of The Hollow Crown – and seven years after we very first suggested the idea to the BBC – I am delighted to announce the start of principal photography on the second half of this magnificent epic story. Yet again we have assembled an amazing cast – led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, and Sophie Okenedo, amongst many others – 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.”

Dominic Cook‎e (former Artistic Director of The Royal Court theatre) will make his TV directorial debut with the three films. 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. Rupert Ryle-Hodges also returns as producer.

The cast list for each film is as follows:

Henry VI part 1

Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Hugh Bonneville (Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester), Sally Hawkins (Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester), Tom Sturridge (Henry VI), Adrian Dunbar (Plantagenet), Stuart McQuarrie (Vernon), Lucy Robinson (Young Cecily), Samuel West (the Bishop of Winchester), Stanley Townsend (Warwick), Michael Gambon (Mortimer), Anton Lesser (Exeter), Ben Miles (Somerset), Jason Watkins (Suffolk) and Philip Glenister (Talbot).

Henry VI part 2

Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III), Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Keeley Hawes (Queen Elizabeth), Tom Sturridge (Henry VI), Adrian Dunbar (Plantagenet), Geoffrey Streatfeild (Edward IV), Sam Troughton (George), Stuart McQuarrie (Vernon), Kyle Soller (Clifford), Lucy Robinson (Young Cecily), Stanley Townsend (Warwick), Anton Lesser (Exeter), Ben Daniels (Buckingham), Ben Miles (Somerset), Jason Watkins (Suffolk), Phoebe Fox (Anne), James Fleet (Hastings) and Andrew Scott (King Louis).

Richard III

Judi Dench (Cecily, Duchess of York), Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III), Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Keeley Hawes (Queen Elizabeth), Geoffrey Streatfeild (Edward IV), Sam Troughton (George), Ben Daniels (Buckingham), James Fleet (Hastings) and Phoebe Fox (Anne).

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses is a Neal Street co-production with Carnival/NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC. Executive producers are Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown for Neal Street Productions, David Horn for THIRTEEN and Gareth Neame for Carnival Films/NBCUniversal. It was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama commissioning.

Another Anglophile’s Dream Cast assembled for The Hollow Crown: The War of The Roses, which will air on PBS in the U.S. and BBC2 in the U.K., although a date is yet to be announced.

Lady Anglophile…bring on The CumberBard!

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3 Responses to First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III

  1. schauwerte says:

    Reblogged this on Schauwerte and commented:
    Ein seeeeeeeeehr gutes Foto …*hust*

  2. theatergeist says:

    The cast list is just marvelous! I loved “The Hollow Crown” and was very happy when “The war of the Roses” was announced. Seeing the cast list made me even more curious.

  3. The “even more glorious sight of Benedict Cumberbatch” ! Love it. 🙂

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