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.
Jen Yamato is a Deadline contributor.
EXCLUSIVE: Ira Sachs will direct Michael Gambon and Alfred Molina as a married couple in the NY-based relationship drama Love Is Strange. The follow-up to Sachs’ semi-autobiographical drama Keep the Lights On similarly explores the romantic ups and downs of a gay relationship, with Gambon and Molina playing longtime partners forced to live separately after their Manhattan nuptials. Parts & Labor, the company behind Lights, is producing, with shooting set to begin this summer in New York.
Sachs, nominated for a Best Director Indie Spirit Award for Best Director for Keep The Lights On, reteamed with Lights co-writer Mauricio Zacharias on the script. Sachs will produce alongside Lucas Joaquin and Parts & Labor’s Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy. Crescendo Films’ Adam Leibovitz and Kinoelektron’s Janja Kralj are co-producers.
British Independent Film Awards To Honor Michael Gambon, Jude Law
Sir Michael Gambon is to receive the Richard Harris Award at the British Independent Film Awards next month. The prize recognizes outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Last year’s recipient was Ralph Fiennes. Gambon’s career spans six decades in theater, TV and film and includes such titles as The Singing Detective; The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover; Gosford Park; The King’s Speech and six of the eight Harry Potter films. Gambon took over the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore when Richard Harris died in 2002 after completing Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.