tv critic’s corner

Amazon adapting ‘King Lear’ for TV with an all-star cast

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, pictured in “Howard’s End.”
Columbia Pictures
Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, pictured in “Howard’s End.”

I couldn’t get enough of Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins in “Howard’s End” and “Remains of the Day.” So a big thank you to Amazon, which, with the BBC, is making a TV movie version of “King Lear” that will reunite the pair.

The Shakespeare story will be set in the present, with Hopkins’s Lear a military dictator in England and Thompson as his oldest daughter, Goneril. Richard Eyre (“Iris,” “Notes on a Scandal”) will direct.

The rest of the cast isn’t too shabby, by the way, especially if you’re an Anglophile. Emily Watson will be middle daughter Regan, Jim Broadbent will be the Earl of Gloucester, Christopher Eccleston will be Oswald, Jim Carter will be the Earl of Kent, and Tobias Menzies will be the Duke of Cornwall.


The film is due sometime next year on Amazon Prime. The BBC and Amazon have already collaborated on the comedy series “Fleabag,” and they are currently putting together a limited series based on Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” starring Jon Hamm, Michael Sheen, Miranda Richardson, and David Tennant.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.