Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pillars of the Earth Television Series Starts Filming

I will have to apologize for the informality of this post but I have some very exciting news to share! According to the web page of acclaimed author Ken Follett his best-selling novel Pillars of the Earth is currently being filmed in Hungary and Austria as part of an eight-hour limited series! This may not be new news to some of you but it is to me so you'll have to bear with me. The news was even sweeter when I read that Ian McShane (Deadwood and the somewhat enjoyable but quickly cancelled Kings on NBC) will play the dastardly Waleran Bygod.

Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, who has helmed episodes of “Heroes” and “Saving Grace,” and served as Steven Spielberg’s first assistant director on “Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List,” is directing the series from a script by John Pielmeier (”Hitler: The Rise of Evil”), who also stars in the production.

As some of you may remember, I conducted an interview with author Ken Follett a few years ago before the release of World Without End, the sequel of sorts to Pillars of the Earth. We talked about Pillars of the Earth, fact that it had just been selected as an Oprah Book Club pick and the success that the novel continued to have over twenty years after its release. Click here to read my entire interview with best-selling author Ken Follett.

The cast, according to, is as follows:

Ian McShane as Waleran Bygod

Rufus Sewell as Tom Builder

Matthew Macfadyen as Prior Philip

Donald Sutherland as Earl Bartholomew

Eddie Redmayne as Jack Jackson

Hayley Atwell as Aliena

Natalia Wörner as Ellen

Robert Bathurst as Percy Hamleigh

Liam Garrigan as Alfred

David Oakes as William Hamleigh

Tony Curran as King Stephen of England

Sarah Parish as Regan Hamleigh

Skye Bennett as Martha

Götz Otto as Walter

Anatole Taubman as Remigius

Jody Halse as Johnny Eightpence

Kate Dickie as Agnes

Sidney Johnston as Little Brother Jonathan

David Bark-Jones as Francis

Sam Claflin as Richard

The series has yet to be picked up in the UK or the US but I have a feeling that we'll have news soon enough about how and where it will air.

So -- what do you think? Are you as excited as I am at the prospect of an eight-hour Pillars of the Earth series? Do you think the casting has been done well? (If not please do offer your own suggestions...) Do comment!

If you'd like a refresher on some of the characters here is a link to a handy family tree of the key characters in Pillars of the Earth from Follett's site.
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