[03/24/16 - 10:00 AM] Starz' First Movie for Television "The Dresser" Starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins Premieres on Monday, May 30 "The Dresser" brings Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins together on screen for the first time in their acclaimed careers.
[via press release from Starz]
STARZ' FIRST MOVIE FOR TELEVISION "THE DRESSER" STARRING IAN MCKELLEN AND ANTHONY HOPKINS PREMIERES ON MONDAY, MAY 30
Trailer Reveals First Look at "The Dresser" with Two Legendary Actors,
Appearing Together on Film for the First Time in
Richard Eyre's Television Adaptation of Ronald Harwood's "The Dresser"
Beverly Hills, Calif. - March 24, 2016 - Starz today announced Richard Eyre's adaptation of Ronald Harwood's critically acclaimed play "The Dresser," starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins, will premiere on STARZ on Monday, May 30th at 9 PM ET/PT. "The Dresser" will also be made available simultaneously on May 30th for STARZ subscribers on STARZ PLAY and STARZ ON DEMAND, in the U.S. Starz also released a first look at the trailer for the movie for television which is an adaptation of Ronald Harwood's play, adapted and directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris).
"The Dresser" brings Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins together on screen for the first time in their acclaimed careers. It also marks Hopkins' first appearance in a television drama in more than 20 years. "The Dresser" tells the story of one fateful night, backstage in a small regional theatre during World War II as a troupe of touring actors stages a production of Shakespeare's "King Lear." Bombs are falling, sirens are wailing, the curtain is up in an hour but the actor/manager "Sir" (Hopkins) who is playing Lear is nowhere to be seen. His dresser "Norman" (McKellen) must scramble to make sure the show goes on but will Sir turn up in time and if he does will he be able to perform that night?
"The Dresser" is a wickedly funny and deeply moving story of friendship and loyalty as Sir reflects on his lifelong accomplishments and seeks to reconcile his turbulent friendships with those in his employ before the final curtain. It was first adapted for the screen by Harwood himself 32 years ago, in the 1983 Peter Yates film starring Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. The current production reverts to Ronald Harwood's original text as it was written for the stage.
Both men were acclaimed for their own stage roles as Shakespeare's great tormented king: Ian McKellen in Trevor Nunn's production for the RSC in 2007 and Hopkins at The National Theatre under the direction of David Hare in 1986. "The Dresser" is directed by Richard Eyre who directed an award-winning production of "King Lear" with Ian Holm for the National Theatre in 1997.
Rounding out the stellar cast for "The Dresser" is Emily Watson (Hilary and Jackie, Breaking Waves) as "Her Ladyship;" Sarah Lancashire ("Happy Valley," "Last Tango in Halifax") as stage manager "Madge;" Vanessa Kirby as "Irene;" Edward Fox as "Thornton;" Tom Brooke as "Oxenby/Edmond;" John Ashton as "Gloucester;" Ian Conningham as "Kent;" Annalisa Rossi as "Goneril;" Helen Bradbury as "Regan;" Carl Sanderson as "Cornwall;" Matthew Cottle as "Albany;" and Martin Chamberlain as "Gentleman."
"The Dresser" is a Playground and Sonia Friedman Production for BBC and Starz in association with Altus Media and Prescience. Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman are executive producers. Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, is executive producer for BBC and Paul Brett and Tim Smith are executive producers for Prescience. The producer is Suzan Harrison. The production was filmed in London.
Starz retains all US multiplatform pay TV rights as well as worldwide multiplatform distribution rights to "The Dresser." BBC retains UK television rights.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks) and global content distribution (Starz Distribution), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of December 31, 2015, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 55.8 million subscribers, including 23.6 million at STARZ, and 32.2 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R), along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX(R), air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties.
Playground is a New York and London based film, television and theatre company that was founded in 2012 by Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony award-winning producer Colin Callender. It is committed to producing quality drama for the screen and the stage bringing together the finest US and UK talent from the worlds of theatre, film, and television. Callender won his first Emmy for the television adaptation of the RSC's "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" and, as president of HBO Films, was responsible for an unprecedented award-winning slate of movies and mini-series.
Playground has produced over 50 hours of prime time television drama garnering 13 Emmy nominations and 11 Golden Globe nominations, including a Golden Globe win for Best Miniseries. Recent productions include the Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning six-part miniseries adaptation of Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall" starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy and Jonathan Pryce for the BBC and Masterpiece, the television adaptation of Ronald Harwood's "The Dresser" starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins and directed by Richard Eyre for the BBC and Starz, Golden Globe-nominated "The Missing" an eight-part thriller with Charlie Pattinson's New Pictures for the BBC and Starz, Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated "The White Queen" for BBC and Starz, and Golden Globe-nominated "Dancing on the Edge" also for BBC and Starz. Upcoming productions include Stephen Poliakoff's post-WWII miniseries "Close To The Enemy" with Helen Flint's Little Island Production and a miniseries adaptation of "Howards End" written by Ken Lonergan for the BBC.
On the theatre front, Playground's recent productions include Jez Butterworth's The River starring Hugh Jackman on Broadway, Nora Ephron's Tony-nominated Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut, Tony-nominated Casa Valentina from Harvey Fierstein, the Tony Award-winning musical revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris; and the critically acclaimed production of Macbeth at The Park Avenue Armory starring Kenneth Branagh. Playground, alongside Sonia Friedman Productions and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions is currently producing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on an original new story by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, that will receive its world premiere in London's West End this summer.
About Sonia Friedman Productions
Sonia Friedman Productions, founded in 2002, is a West End and Broadway theatre production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in London and on Broadway over the past few years. Friedman has developed, initiated and produced over 140 new productions and has won numerous Olivier and Tony Awards(R), including a record-breaking 14 at this year's Olivier awards (Best New Musical, Best New Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play, among others).
Recent West End and Broadway productions and co-productions include: the UK premiere of 'The Book of Mormon', Jez Butterworth's 'The River' on Broadway, starring Hugh Jackman, 'Electra', 'King Charles III', 'Sunny Afternoon', 'Shakespeare in Love', 'Jerusalem', 'Ghosts', 'Mojo', 'Chimerica', 'Twelfth Night & Richard III' and 'Old Times'. Forthcoming productions include 'The Nether', 'Bend it Like Beckham the Musical' and 'Hamlet' starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Sonia will also collaborate with J. K. Rowling on a new stage play to be based on the Harry Potter stories in co-production with Colin Callender.
'The Dresser' marks Friedman's second television drama production, which follows directly after her current partnership with Playground Entertainment on the six-part mini-series adaptation of Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' for the BBC and Masterpiece co-produced by Company Pictures.
Sonia Friedman Productions is a subsidiary of the Ambassador Theatre Group.