THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT: BBC ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF WOLF HALL FOR FINAL SERIES
The BBC and Masterpiece PBS have announced that Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light, based on the final novel in Hilary Mantel’s multi award-winning trilogy, will begin filming shortly. The six-part series will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK.
Reuniting the creative team from the BAFTA and Golden Globe winning first series, Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light will be directed by seven-time BAFTA award winner Peter Kosminsky (The Undeclared War, The State), adapted for television by Academy award nominee Peter Straughan.
Academy Award winner Mark Rylance will return to his BAFTA-winning role of Thomas Cromwell, with Emmy Award winner Damian Lewis returning as King Henry VIII, alongside Academy Award nominee Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey.
Also returning are Kate Phillips as Henry VIII’s third wife Jane Seymour and Lilit Lesser as Princess Mary, the daughter of Henry and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Further returning and new cast members will be announced in due course.
May, 1536. Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, is dead. As the axe drops, Thomas Cromwell emerges from the bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.
Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, and no private army. Navigating the moral complexities that accompany the exercise of power in this brutal and bloody time, Cromwell is caught between his desire to do what is right and his instinct to survive. But in the wake of Henry VIII having executed his queen, no one is safe.
Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows.
Eagerly awaited and years in the making, Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light will trace the final four years of Cromwell’s life, completing his journey from self-made man to the most feared, influential figure of his time. Cromwell is as complex as he is unforgettable: a politician and a fixer, a diplomat and a father, a man who both defied and defined his age.
Director Peter Kosminsky says: “The Mirror and the Light picks up exactly where Wolf Hall ended, with the execution of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. I'm overjoyed to be able to reunite the extraordinary cast we were lucky enough to assemble for Wolf Hall, led by the brilliant Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, with the original creative team of Gavin Finney (DOP), Pat Campbell (Designer) and Joanna Eatwell (Costume Designer). We are all determined to complete what we started – and to honour the final novel written by one of the greatest literary figures of our age, Hilary Mantel.”
Colin Callender, CEO of Playground, says “Following the success of the BAFTA and Golden Globe winning original television adaptation of the first two books in Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed Wolf Hall trilogy, we are thrilled and honoured that, nine years later, we have been able re-unite Peter Kosminsky and his brilliant team, in front of and behind the camera, to bring Thomas Cromwell ‘s final chapter to the screen...
"Intimate, thrilling, and deeply moving, The Mirror and the Light shines a fresh light on the politics of power and the personal price paid by those who wield it. Cromwell’s story is as contemporary as ever – a story of loyalty and betrayal that just happens to be about people 500 years ago.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, says: “A stunning and unforgettable adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s sublime novels, Wolf Hall quickly established itself as one of the all-time great television dramas, with millions of adoring viewers across the U.K. and around the World. Almost a decade on we’re delighted to have reunited this exceptional creative team and lead cast to conclude Mantel’s thrilling saga on the BBC.”
Susanne Simpson, Executive Producer of Masterpiece says: “I am incredibly proud to bring Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light to Masterpiece and the American audience. It is thrilling that such brilliant actors as Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis will reprise their roles for this final chapter of Thomas Cromwell’s story. The level of excellence on and off screen for this series is incomparable.”
Further information will be announced in due course.