Masterpiece has just confirmed that erstwhile Homeland star Damian Lewis will play Henry VIII opposite Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in upcoming miniseries Wolf Hall. The adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning historical fiction novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies is a Company Pictures and Playground co-production for BBC Two and Masterpiece. Peter Kosminsky (White Oleander) is directing the six-part drama from a script by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). The story charts Cromwell’s meteoric rise from lowly blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor. Deadline reported in January that Lewis was in talks to play the Tudor King. The confirmed roster of actors now includes Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn; Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey; Joanne Whalley as Katherine of Aragon; Sherlock‘s Mark Gatiss as Stephen Gardiner, Secretary to the King; Anton Lesser as Thomas More; Mathieu Amalric as Ambassador of Spain; Charity Wakefield as Mary Boleyn; Jessica Raine as Jane Rochford; Bernard Hill as the Duke of Norfolk; Richard Dillane as the Duke of Suffolk; Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Cromwell’s ward Rafe Sadler; Natasha Little as Cromwell’s wife Liz; and Saskia Reeves as her sister Johane.
Shooting has started in the southwest of England for air in 2015 on PBS’ Masterpiece and on BBC Two. Colin Callender will exec produce for Playground, John Yorke for Company Pictures, … Read More »
Erstwhile Homeland star Damian Lewis could step into the role of King Henry VIII in BBC Two and Masterpiece‘s major adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning historical fiction novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. Mark Rylance is playing Thomas Cromwell in the six-part serial and Deadline has confirmed that Lewis is in talks for the role of the Tudor King. A deal is not yet closed. The Daily Mail first reported word of the “complex negotiations.” Lewis is currently filming Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert with Nicole Kidman. The Wolf Hall project is due to start shooting in the spring. It follows Cromwell’s rise from the lowly son of a blacksmith to becoming Henry’s closest advisor. BAFTA-winning helmer Peter Kosminsky is directing from a script by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s Peter Straughan. Wolf Hall is a co-production from Company Pictures, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment, and Masterpiece for BBC Two in association with BBC Worldwide.
Related: Masterpiece Boards BBC2′s ‘Wolf Hall’ & ‘Bring Up The Bodies’
EXCLUSIVE: Damian Lewis, who has won Golden Globes and Emmys for his work as POW-turned-terrorist Nicolas Brody in Showtime’s Homeland, is near a deal to star opposite Nicole Kidman in director Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert. The UK-born Lewis won’t have to hide his homegrown accent for the feature: He will play Lt. Col. Charles Doughty-Wylie, an unhappily married English war hero who engages in a turbulent affair with Gertrude Bell (Kidman), with whom he exchanged love letters with from 1913-1915 until he was killed in active duty at Gallipoli. Production is scheduled to begin in December.
Related: Toronto: Sands Shift In ‘Queen Of The Desert’
Queen Of The Desert refers to Bell, the iconic explorer, writer, archeologist and attaché for the British Empire who is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. Nick Raslan is producing through his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya Pictures banner is financing the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales.
Lewis is represented by WME, Markham, Froggatt and Irwin, and Karl Austen.
AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz, Managing Editor Anthony D’Alessandro and contributors Paul Brownfield and Thomas J. McLean assist with Deadline’s TV coverage.
Four of the lead acting drama series hopefuls Kevin Spacey (House Of Cards), Damian Lewis (Homeland), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) share thoughts on their characters, shows and nominations.
KEVIN SPACEY (House Of Cards, Netflix)
AwardsLine: What is it about your character, U.S. Representative Francis Underwood, that translates to audiences? He can be so evil.
Spacey: It’s incredibly fun to play someone who doesn’t have any allegiances. He doesn’t care if he’s ideological or conservative. Francis sees opportunity and wants to get shit done. He wants progress and isn’t bound by labels. People view him as diabolical, but he’s very effective. To have our government in stalemate and in gridlock—it’s conceivable that this world is exciting for the audience.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview Read More »
Showtime has declassified the first trailer for the upcoming third season of its Emmy-winning drama starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin. Watch for Senate hearings; a hoodied, Heisenberg-esque Brody; his media-besieged teenage daughter; a possible conversion to Islam; an apology from Saul to Carrie; and plenty of gunplay — all set to the Cinematic Orchestra’s mournful “To Build a Home.” Homeland returns September 29:
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Following Showtime‘s executive session today at TCA, the network’s entertainment president David Nevins was asked about potential cast turnovers on Homeland. “Anything is possible in television, so I would not rule it out,” he said. Deadline later asked Nevins if there is potentially a scenario in which stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis leave Homeland early. “Absolutely,” he said. “Do I think it’s conceivable that the show outlives Carrie Mathison and Nicholas Brody? Absolutely… There you go.” Is such a departure imminent? “No, and I mean no spoiler by that. I would not conclude there is a blockbuster in Season 3. But if you’re going to commit yourself to being unpredictable and going where the story takes you, you’ve got to commit yourself to being unpredictable and going where the story takes you.” So nobody on Homeland is safe or sacred? “Exactly.”
Related: TCA: Where’s Damian Lewis? ‘Homeland’ Showrunners Explain
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
A little bit of a SPOILER ALERT is perhaps in order regarding the first two episodes of season three of the Showtime drama hit Homeland, which returns in originals on September 29. It isn’t about the plotline per se. It’s about star Damian Lewis, who won an Emmy in 2012 and is nominated again for his wrenching performance as Brody. It was revealed this afternoon during a TCA Homeland panel that Lewis won’t be seen in the first two episodes of the season, screeners of which were provided for critics. It baffled those in the room, and is probably unprecedented, that an actor who won the Emmy for lead actor in the drama should simply not appear in the first pair of episodes of the subsequent season. Co-showrunner Alex Gansa explained that the Brody disappearance is strictly a function of the story and shouldn’t be interpreted as indicative of the actor’s participation in the show beyond episode two. “It’s about where the story was taking us,” Gansa said. He was then asked by a critic if it would be a betrayal of those involved in the series were those in the room to report that Lewis is a no-show through at least those first two hours of the season. “No,” Gansa replied, “but it would be a betrayal to actually say when he’s back in the show.” Homeland won six Emmys in its first year of awards eligibility last year, including hitting the trifecta of outstanding drama series as well as for its two leads (Lewis and Claire Danes). How does Lewis feel about his early season absence? “Hey, these guys have been trying to kill me since the end of episode one,” he quipped, “when I had a stay of execution.” He said that he wasn’t surprised by the way the season opened for him, finding it to be “completely in line with the idea that you must be ruthless with story and character.” Read More »
James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are exec producing Neon Films’ The Silent Storm. Homeland‘s Damian Lewis stars with Oblivion‘s Andrea Riseborough in the love story that’s set on Scotland’s Isle of Mull. Corinna Villari-McFarlane is making her feature directing debut with the picture. She also wrote the script about an enigmatic outsider living on a remote Scottish island who’s caught between her commanding minister husband and the vitality of a 17 year-old delinquent who is sent to live with them. Newcomer Ross Anderson plays the younger man. John Sessions and Kate Dickie, both recently of James McAvoy-starrer Filth, round out the cast. Shooting starts June 23rd. West End Films is handling international sales. The vast list of exec producers also includes Marc Samuelson, Steve Milne, Hani Farsi, Christian Eisenbeiss, Goran Lazovich, Milan Markovic, Jerome Booth and Peter Scarf. Nicky Bentham is producer for Neon with financing coming from Corniche Pictures, Eon Productions, British Film Company, HW Buffalo and New Sparta.
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage.
Homeland star Damian Lewis will join the cast of BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley when it reunites for Friday night’s Comic Relief telethon. This year’s Funny for Money broadcast is set to offer plenty of YouTube-ready revival sketches for viewers. Already set is Ricky Gervais resurrecting The Office character David Brent. The Vicar of Dibley’s reunion is its first since since another Comic Relief sketch in 2007, which co-starred Sting. Lewis was keen to take part, he said, because he’d been unavailable for past specials. “Some of my favorite actors are in The Vicar of Dibley and I grew up watching them on TV,” he said. He joins a high profile guest cast that includes Kylie Minogue, Sarah Ferguson and Johnny Depp. Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage
Sunday was the night Showtime officially entered the Emmy big leagues thanks to its newest signature drama series, the pulse-pounding first-year Homeland. It won the pay-cabler its first Emmys in three different major categories: for top drama series as well as lead actor (Damian Lewis) and actress (Claire Danes). Only Danes’ win was considered a shoo-in. The other two were significant upsets, having broken lengthy winning streaks. The only omen that Homeland could be in for such a big night was its victory back in January for best drama series at the Golden Globes. But rarely is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association a reliable arbiter of future success with the TV Academy.
Related: Nikki Finke: Live-Snarking The 64th Emmys
Few pundits anticipated this kind of dominance for Homeland. But Danes noted backstage that the cast, crew and producers took no special pleasure in having prevented Mad Men from earning what would have been a record fifth consecutive outstanding drama series Emmy. “We didn’t make our show just to undermine Mad Men,” she said. “We’re delighted and thrilled and a little startled by this. No one was expecting to be recognized in this way right off the bat.” Danes paused before adding, “But it feels pretty nice.” Co-creator and executive producer Howard Gordon — coming off a hugely successful run at Fox on 24 — was asked backstage after the big night of wins if having the creative freedom afforded by Showtime made a big difference. “They have been phenomenally supportive and great partners,” he replied, “and they’ve had great patience. They gave us support and time with the characters and let the stories breathe. We’re really grateful.” Homeland‘s Emmy success comes just in time — the series’ second season premieres next Sunday.
Related: Analysis: ‘Homeland’ And ‘Modern Family’ Unbeatable While Other Favorites Flounder Read More »
Matt Webb Mitovich is Editor-at-Large at TVLine
Just as Nicholas Brody received a hero’s welcome upon being rescued from captivity in Afghanistan, Damian Lewis of Showtime’s Homeland has been met with plaudits for his riveting portrayal of the conflicted Marine sergeant, husband, father and… would-be terrorist. Lewis — going for his first Emmy nomination this year, having previously been nominated for the 2012 Golden Globes for playing Brody on this series and in 2002 for his role in HBO’s Band of Brothers — reveals how he makes the potentially reprehensible relatable.
AWARDSLINE: Your character for much of Season 1 had to keep us guessing about his agenda. How much did the producers share with you up front?
DAMIAN LEWIS: They gave me a pretty good outline, but what wasn’t explicit from the outset was whether Brody was actually going to try and do something. They never said, “This guy is a terrorist and he will act in a devastating way.”
AWARDSLINE: Actors can get caught up in the idea of playing a likeable character — certainly not an American-bred terrorist. How’d you get past any such concerns?
LEWIS: It was a crackling script. Also, I don’t mind playing unlikeable roles. One of the things you should seek to achieve as an actor is that your character is understood somehow. If people then like what they find, that’s their choice. But I had one contention: Is there a way of finding in Islam a force for good, a nurturing thing in his life? Plenty of people think that if you’re a Muslim you want to blow people up, which is nonsense. We were at great pains to find motivations for him, and they successfully did that. Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Is it mere coincidence that Showtime is unveiling the heavy-duty psychological thriller series Homeland the night of Oct. 2, a scant three weeks after the landmark 10th anniversary of 9/11? In a word, yes, says exec producer Howard Gordon, still recovering from his years helping steer the exhausting ship known as 24 on Fox. “Its timing is accidental, significant and fortuitous,” he stressed today during an early morning breakfast panel at TCA. “It’s a confluence of events. Osama bin Laden was killed while we were filming our second episode. In the collision of the war on terror, the story hasn’t been told of the price of 9/11 to this country — after Abu Ghraib, after Guantanamo, after two wars of questionable merit and the price to us.”
Indeed, from a brief clip shown this morning, Homeland promises to be one of the most intense exercises about the war on terror yet to emerge in any medium. Starring Claire Danes as a CIA officer and Damian Lewis as an imprisoned American soldier, the show features wrenching depictions of torture on Lewis’ ultimately rescued character. “I oddly enjoyed it,” said Lewis, a Brit. “Is that wrong? I’d be two hours in makeup and then lay down on the gritty, sandy, dirty, stony floor of some warehouse just outside Charlotte, North Carolina to have a guy pee on me…I’ve been hung upside-down, beaten in the head…We’re … Read More »
New Showtime entertainment president David Nevins is going 2-for-2 in his first development season at the pay cable network, picking up both pilots he ordered — drama Homeland and comedy House of Lies — to series. Both have received 12-episode orders and will start production in the summer. Thriller Homeland, from 24 showrunner Howard Gordon, stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Emmy and Mandy Patinkin, while management consulting comedy House of Lies is toplined by Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. “Homeland and House of Lies are audacious in both their concept and their casting,” Nevins said. “They build upon the network’s successful pedigree and expand the definition of what a Showtime series can be. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland has assembled a pretty solid cast. Former Life star Damian Lewis has been tapped to star opposite Claire Danes in the pilot from 24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. Lewis will play the male lead in the project, which centers on Marine Sergeant Scott Brody (Lewis), who returns home after spending eight years as a prisoner of war in Baghdad, and Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes), a driven CIA officer who suspects he might be plotting an attack on America. Scott, who was discovered during a U.S. attack on an enemy base, was brought to the U.S. with much fanfare and is happy to be home with his family, wife Jessica (Laura Fraser), and two kids, but still carries with him the trauma of his imprisonment and torture. Lewis, a British screen and stage actor, is best known in the U.S. for his roles in the NBC quirky drama Life and HBO’s Emmy-winning World War II mini-series Band of Brothers.
Also cast in Homeland is another British actor, David Harewood (Blood Diamond). He will play David Estes, the the youngest Deputy Director of Intelligence in CIA history, decisive, political, professional, but ultimately self-serving who is frequently exasperated by Carrie’s obsessive determination to follow up any lead, no matter how small or … Read More »