Irons welded to ‘Elizabeth’

Oscar winner attached to historical epic

Jeremy Irons will star alongside the previously announced Helen Mirren in “Elizabeth I,” the historical drama for HBO and the U.K.’s Channel 4.

Irons will play the Earl of Leicester, and Hugh Dancy will be his young rival, the Earl of Essex.

The drama about the Virgin Queen’s later years is written by Nigel Williams and shooting in Lithuania.

It is due for completion at the end of 2005. All3Media Intl. will pre-sell the show at Mipcom in Cannes in October.

It has already confirmed a U.K. DVD release with 4 Ventures, Channel Four’s commercial division.

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