First Look: Anthony Hopkins Stars as King Lear in BBC/Amazon Adaptation

Emma Thompson, Florence Pugh, Emily Watson, Jim Broadbent, Andrew Scott, Christopher Eccleston and Jim Carter also star in the contemporary take on Shakespeare.
Courtesy of BBC
Anthony Hopkins and Florence Pugh in 'King Lear'

The BBC and Amazon have unveiled the first image from their upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear, starring Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins as the eponymous ruler and Emma Thompson as his oldest daughter Goneril. 

The TV movie — set in the fictional present and due to hit screens this spring — comes from Colin Callender's Playground Entertainment and Sonia Friedman Productions, with Richard Eyre directing.

The first look, released Thursday, shows Hopkins alongside rising star Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth, Fighting With My Family) as Cordelia, the youngest of Lear's children. Emily Watson (Theory of Everything, Genius) stars as his middle daughter, Regan, while Jim Broadbent, Andrew Scott, John Macmillan, Jim Carter, Christopher Eccleston, Tobias Menzies, Anthony Calf and Karl Johnson round out the all-star cast. 

King Lear was commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC, and is being produced by Playground Entertainment (Wolf Hall, Howards End, Little Women) and Sonia Friedman Productions (The Dresser) in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited for BBC Two. Noelette Buckley (The Dresser, Wolf Hall) is producing, with executive producers including Callender and Scott Huff for Playground, Sonia Friedman for Sonia Friedman Productions and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Great Point Media represents international rights. 

The project marks the latest collaboration between the BBC and Amazon. The latter is the U.S. home for the BBC's dark comedy Fleabag from Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The two are next set to team on a limited series adaptation of Good Omens starring Michael Sheen, David Tennant and Jon Hamm.

King Lear also marks Hopkins and Thompson's third time working together, following Howards End and Remains of the Day. Hopkins most recently made his first foray into TV with the first season of HBO's Westworld, for which he received an Emmy nomination for best actor in a drama.