It’s Official: Vanessa Redgrave & Olivia Colman Cast In BBC Two’s ‘The Thirteenth Tale’

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Back in March, TVWise broke the news that BBC Two had commissioned an adaptation of Diane Setterfield’s novel The Thirteenth Tale and that it had been adapted by Christopher Hampton and would be directed by James Kent. Last week we also broke the news that the drama would star Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman (Broadchurch) as Vida Winter and Margaret Lea, respectively. The BBC has now announced the drama and confirmed all of those scoops. However, the BBC fell short of confirming any additional cast members for the drama, but as TVWise has previously revealed Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), Gordon Winter (Friday Night Dinner), Antonia Clarke (Lightfields), Alexandra Roach (Utopia) and Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones) are also set to appear in The Thirteenth Tale. BBC Two’s press release follows below…..

Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman to star in BBC Two adaptation of bestselling novel The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale, a new 90-minute single drama from Heyday Films for BBC Two has been commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller BBC Two and Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.

Adapted from Diane Setterfield’s best–selling novel, the script has been written by Oscar winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons) and will be directed by James Kent (Inside Men, The White Queen).

David Heyman (Harry Potter, Page Eight) and Norma Heyman (Mrs Henderson Presents, Dangerous Liaisons) will co-produce.

The Thirteenth Tale is a haunting psychological mystery set in the modern day, with poignant flashbacks starting in 1940. The disturbing story begins when a young female biographer, Margaret (Colman), sets out to interview a legendary writer whose health is fading. Vida Winter (Redgrave) has, until now, refused to divulge the dark secrets of her life and past at Angelfield, her childhood home. An unlikely shared empathy is cultivated between the two women, and Vida’s story forces Margaret to finally confront her own ghosts.

Ben Stephenson says: “Building on our record-breaking BAFTA success and BBC Two’s reputation for world-class drama, The Thirteenth Tale is yet another treat for the audience later this year. Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman, along with the award-winning team behind the drama, illustrate BBC drama at its best – attracting the highest calibre of talent and making the most ambitious content possible.”

Christopher Hampton adds: “I was delighted to take on Ms Setterfield’s ingenious mystery. It’s been a great pleasure re-engaging with the brave new world of 21st-century television drama: I may have to come back for more.”

Producer David Heyman says: “I am delighted and honoured that Ben Stephenson and Janice Hadlow have commissioned this film for BBC Two, and to be working with such extraordinary talent on both sides of the camera. And of course to be partnering with my mother, who has been such an inspiration throughout my life, is particularly special.”

Further casting will be released in due course. Filming is scheduled to begin in June and The Thirteenth Tale will be shown on BBC Two later this year.

Executive producer is Polly Hill for the BBC and Rosie Alison for Heyday Films.