Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith will star in separate TV movies from writer-director Stephen Poliakoff for HBO Films and the BBC.
Poliakoff, who directed Emmy-winning miniseries “The Lost Prince,” has written and is directing both telepics, the first of which is shooting in London. An airdate has not yet been determined.
Talkback Thames produces the projects for HBO and the BBC; both co-finance. Joanna Beresford, Lorraine Heggessey and Nicolas Brown are exec producers. Deborah Jones serves as producer.
Companion films tell the story of an “exquisite house, frozen in time” as seen through the eyes of Joe (Danny Lee Wynter), whose tale begins as the teenage son of a cleaner who takes care of the house.
Gambon stars in the first telepic, “Poliakoff 2006,” which explores the relationship between Joe and Elliot (Gambon), a strange and wealthy London man who owns the dark and moody home. Joe is the link between the reclusive billionaire and the outside world.
Set in the same house, companion pic “Capturing Mary” takes Joe and other characters on a journey through the past. His story is intertwined with that of Mary (Smith), an older woman recalling earlier days and her first encounter with the charming and mysterious stranger who affects her life forever.
Ensemble casts also include Rupert Penry Jones, David Walliams, Ruth Wilson, Kelly Reilly and Rebecca Hall.
Poliakoff has written and directed “Gideon’s Daughter,” “Friends & Crocodiles” and “Shooting the Past.” He received BAFTA’s Dennis Potter Award for writing and directing the Gambon starrer “Perfect Strangers.”
Both Gambon and Smith have been feted for their collaborations with HBO. Gambon received an Emmy nom for his perf in the cabler’s “Path to War” and appeared in “Angels in America,” while Smith won an Emmy for her work in the mini “My House in Umbria.”