Damian Lewis

Former 'Homeland' star in talks to play opposite Mark Rylance in BBC-PBS drama

LONDON — Having departed “Homeland,” Damian Lewis looks set to move to “Wolf Hall.” Thesp is in discussions to play Henry VIII in the six-part television adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor-era novels “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” which will air on the BBC in the U.K. and PBS in the U.S.

Lewis will join Mark Rylance, who has been cast as Thomas Cromwell, the English king’s Machiavellian counselor, according to the Daily Mail on Friday. Lewis has already met with the project’s director Peter Kosminsky.

Lewis will have to juggle dates on Werner Herzog’s Nicole Kidman starrer “Queen of the Desert,” which is shooting in Morocco.

The miniseries’ producers — Colin Callender’s Playground Productions, Company Pictures and BBC America — had to wait for more than a year for Rylance to be clear of commitments.

Other thesps to be offered major parts in the drama include Claire Foy, who has been approached to play Anne Boleyn, and David Bradley, who would portray Norfolk. Mark Gatiss is also set for a significant role, as yet unknown.

Peter Straughan, who was nommed for an Oscar with Bridget O’Connor for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” penned the “Wolf Hall” screenplay.

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