Following reports earlier this month that Mark Rylance was in talks to star in BBC Two’s upcoming Wolf Hall adaptation, I have learned that the actor has closed a deal to star in the drama in the lead role of Thomas Cromwell. Sources confirm to me that the award winning actor officially boarded the series within the past two weeks. I hear that the remaining roles are still being cast, with production slated to commence in 2014.
A six part adaptation Hillary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, Wolf Hall is set in England in the 1520′s, which is a heartbeat from disaster. If Henry VIII dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Into the impasse steps Thomas Cromwell; son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a bully and a charmer, Cromwell has broken all the rules of a rigid society in his rise to power, and is prepared to break some more. Pitting himself against parliament, the political establishment and the papacy, he is prepared to reshape England to his own and Henry VIII’s desires. The adaptation is being penned by Peter Straughan for BBC Two. Company Pictures is producing with Poly Hill serving as executive producer for the BBC.