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.
HBO has come on board as co-producer of BBC’s miniseries adaptation of novel The Casual Vacancy, from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The three-hour mini, written by Sarah Phelps (EastEnders), produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Hour) and to be directed by Jonny Campbell (In the Flesh), will begin production this summer in South West England. Published in 2012, 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 at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. The three-part mini is produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by Rowling and Neil Blair, who is executive producing with Paul Trijbits (Saving Mr. Banks) and Rick Senat.
Jane Eyre producer and Saving Mr. Banks executive producer Paul Trijbits has been brought on to exec produce The Casual Vacancy TV series that’s being mounted by The Blair Partnership and the BBC. Trijbits is the former managing director of London-based Ruby Film and Television. BBC One and BBC Drama said earlier this month that J.K. Rowling‘s first post-Harry Potter novel would be broken out into a series whose number and length of episodes will be determined once the creative adaptation process has formally begun. Trijbits will manage the production and appoint a writer. The story is set in a seemingly perfect English village whose pretty façade hides a town at war. Rowling will collaborate closely on the project, which is expected to air in 2014. Neil Blair and Rick Senat of Blair Partnership will be series executive producers. Trijbits’ other recent credits include Dancing On The Edge, a six-part drama that will air on BBC Two starting in late January.
BBC One and BBC Drama are teaming with J.K. Rowling‘s manager Neil Blair on an exclusive transfer of the Harry Potter author’s first post-Hogwarts novel, The Casual Vacancy. The book will be broken out into a TV series to be produced via an as-yet unnamed independent production company operated by Blair on behalf of The Blair Partnership, and Rick Senat. The number of episodes will be determined once the creative process gets rolling. Rowling will collaborate closely with the project that’s expected to air in 2014. The Casual Vacancy was published in September and sold over 1M copies in its first three weeks. The story, this time for adults as opposed to wizard-loving muggle children, is set in a seemingly perfect English village whose pretty façade hides a town at war. In a statement, Rowling said today, “I’m thrilled that the BBC has commissioned The Casual Vacancy. I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television and I think the BBC is the perfect home.”