Hallmark Channel Announces 'William & Kate' Biopic
Lifetime isn't the only cable network planning a TV movie about Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton.
Hallmark Channel said late Tuesday that it's going into production soon on an original telefilm titled William & Kate: A Royal Love Story.
Linda Yellen, who executive produced the TV movie The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana for CBS in 1982, wrote and will produce the biopic.
Said Hallmark senior vp original programming Barbara Fisher: "The love story of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which will culminate April 29, 2011, in the biggest royal wedding since Charles and Diana, chronicles the pair as young students at St. Andrews, William's Army training at Sandhurst Military Academy, their break-up, reunification, engagement and planning of royal nuptials, and advice from William's grandmother, the Queen. While biographical, the film is a love story with an inside look at the nuances of a modern monarchy."
Hallmark did not announce casting for the movie, which will premiere at 9 p.m. Aug. 13 -- just a couple weeks ahead of the 14-year anniversary of the death of Prince William's mother, Princess Diana.
Lifetime's movie, titled William & Kate, also chronicles the couple's relationship from their initial meeting. It is set to air around the time of the wedding at Westminster Abbey in London.
Although Lifetime announced its movie before Hallmark did, the latter channel has had its telepic in the works for some time and does not view this movie as competing with the Lifetime project. (Indeed, several TV networks are planning to commemorate the wedding in various ways.)
Hallmark execs are said to have been especially high on securing Yellen's involvement and placing a premium on accuracy in the storytelling, while the producer herself had some unforeseen delays in securing iconic locations to shoot in the U.K.