The Final Novel in Hilary Mantel’s Historical Trilogy
by Rick Porter | Hollywood Reporter | November 20, 2023
After eight years, PBS is making a return to Wolf Hall. The public broadcaster will air a sequel to its Emmy-nominated miniseries, with Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis reprising their roles as Thomas Cromwell and English King Henry VIII. The series, based on the final book in author Hilary Mantel‘s trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, is scheduled to begin production soon. It will air under PBS’ Masterpiece banner in the United States and on the BBC in the U.K. Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light currently has no release date.
The new season follows Thomas Cromwell as he navigates the aftermath of Anne Boleyn’s execution, facing moral dilemmas and multiple enemies. Cromwell somehow manages to escape the bloodshed unscathed. Although he can continue amassing power and influence, the whole display assures that nobody is truly safe in the King’s court. Cromwell is in particular trouble with no powerful family behind him and only the wits that got him there. The season will follow the moral dilemmas he faces as he tries to keep his head on his shoulders while still trying to do the right thing and steer England toward the future. Unfortunately for him, things are even more complicated than that with rebellion within the country’s borders, traitors abroad, and an invasion on the horizon. All the while, Cromwell’s fortunes are running out as he’s earned no small number of enemies who wish to see his demise.
The official synopsis for the new season says: “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.”
Anticipation has been mounting for a new season since the show’s first run in 2015, which covered Mantel’s first two books Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies. The original series was an awards darling, earning eight Emmy nominations and two BAFTA wins including for Best Drama Series. The announcement of The Mirror and the Light first came back in 2019 as Mantel was preparing the final novel for release and with its return comes most of the cast from the original. Mantel sadly passed away in 2022, aged 70.
Jonathan Pryce, Kate Phillips and Lilit Lesser will also reprise their roles. The original Wolf Hall creative team — writer Peter Straughan, director Peter Kosminsky and producers Playground and Company Pictures — is reuniting, aiming to honor author Hilary Mantel’s first novel.
“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 honored that, nine years later, we have been able reunite Peter Kosminsky and his brilliant team, in front of and behind the camera, to bring Thomas Cromwell‘s final chapter to the screen,” said Playground CEO Colin Callender. “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.”
The Mirror and the Light will chronicle the final years of Cromwell’s life, completing his journey from self-made man to the most feared, influential figure of his time.
“I am incredibly proud to bring Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light to Masterpiece and the American audience,” said Masterpiece executive producer Susanne Simpson. “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.”
Wolf Hall won BAFTA Awards in 2015 for best drama series and best actor for Rylance, a Golden Globe for best limited series and a Peabody Award. It was nominated for five Emmys.
Lisa Osborne produces The Mirror and the Light. Executive producers are Callender and Noëlette Buckley for Playground, Kosminsky, Lucy Richer for the BBC, and Simpson for Masterpiece.
📢 Wolf Hall is returning for a thrilling final act!
Starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Jonathan Pryce, Kate Phillips and Lilit Lesser, Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light is based on the final novel in Hilary Mantel’s award-winning trilogy
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) November 20, 2023
Read the rest of the original article at Hollywood Reporter
Secondary Source: Collider
Tertiary Source: PBS Masterpiece Press Release
Quaternary Source: Deadline
Quinary Source: Broadway World
Senary Source: Radio Times
Septenary Source: Independent
Octonary Source: The Telegraph
Nonary Source: BBC Press Release
Denary Source: Variety
Additional Source: The Times