Harry Potter star Michael Gambon is reuniting with the author on whose books the movies were based, J.K. Rowling. Gambon will topline the HBO/BBC three-part miniseries The Casual Vacancy, the adaptation of Rowling’s follow-up book to the Harry Potter series. Also starring in the mini are Keeley Hawes (Line Of Duty), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Monica Dolan (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa), Julia McKenzie (Notes On A Scandal), and Rufus Jones (Bil). Directed by Jonny Campbell from a script by Sarah Phelps, Casual Vacancy centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade, however, is a town at war: rich vs. poor, teenagers vs. parents, wives vs. husbands, teachers vs. pupils. Gambon plays Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen; Dolan plays Tess Wall; McKenzie plays Howard’s wife, Shirley Mollison; Jones plays Howard’s son, Miles Mollison; Hawes plays Miles’ wife, Samantha Mollison; and Kinnear plays Barry Fairbrother. Also cast in the project are Simon McBurney (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy) as Tess’ husband, Colin Wall; Keeley Forsyth (Coronation Street) as Terri Weedon; newcomer Abigail Lawrie as Terri’s daughter, Krystal Weedon; Richard Glover (A Field In England) as Simon Price; Marie Critchley (In The Flesh) as Simon’s wife, Ruth Price; and Michelle Austin (Secrets & Lies). Casting of several other roles continue, with filming scheduled to begin July 7 in South West England. The mini is being produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by Rowling and Neil Blair, who is executive producing with Paul Trijbits and Rick Senat. Ruth Kenley-Letts is producing.
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