LONDON — “American Horror Story’s” Alexander Dreymon and “True Blood’s” Rutger Hauer have joined the cast of historical drama “The Last Kingdom,” which is produced by “Downton Abbey’s” Carnival Films.
The BBC America/BBC series, which is an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s series of books “The Saxon Stories” by writer Stephen Butchard, has started filming in Hungary and the U.K.
The cast, which has been drawn from eight different European countries, also includes David Dawson (“Ripper Street”), Emily Cox (“The Silent Mountain,” “Circle of Life”), Matthew Macfadyen (“Anna Karenina,” “MI-5”), Ian Hart (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Bridge”), and Tobias Santelmann (“Kon-Tiki,” “Hercules — The Thracian Wars”).
The series is set in the 9th century AD when many of the separate kingdoms of what we now know as England have fallen to the invading Vikings; only the Kingdom of Wessex stands defiant under its visionary King Alfred the Great (Dawson).
Uhtred (Dreymon), the son of a Saxon nobleman, is orphaned by the Vikings and then kidnapped and raised as one of their own. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are constantly tested.
Gareth Neame, Nigel Marchant and Stephen Butchard serve as executive producers, with Nick Murphy co-executive producing and directing multiple episodes. Chrissy Skinns (“Mr. Selfridge”) will produce the show.
“Cornwell’s Saxon novels combine historical figures and events with fiction in an utterly compelling way,” Neame said. “In the hands of Stephen Butchard we believe it will make original and engrossing television drama. In part the epic quest of our hero Uhtred, it is also a fascinating re-telling of the tale of King Alfred the Great and how he united the many separate kingdoms on this island into what would become England.”