King Lear (2018 film)

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King Lear
King Lear (2018 film).jpg
Based on King Lear
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Richard Eyre
Starring Anthony Hopkins
Emma Thompson
Emily Watson
Jim Broadbent
Florence Pugh
Jim Carter
Andrew Scott
John Macmillan
Tobias Menzies
Anthony Calf
Karl Johnson
Christopher Eccleston
John Standing
Music by Stephen Warbeck
Country of origin United Kingdom
United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Noëlette Buckley
Cinematography Ben Smithard
Editor(s) Dan Farrell
Running time 115 minutes
Distributor Amazon Studios
Original network BBC Two
Original release 28 May 2018 (BBC Two)
28 September 2018 (Amazon Prime)

King Lear is a 2018 British-American television film directed by Richard Eyre. An adaptation of the play of the same name by William Shakespeare, cut to just 115 minutes, was broadcast on BBC Two on 28 May 2018.[1] Starring Anthony Hopkins as the title character, the adaptation is set in an alternate universe 21st-century highly militarized London and depicts the tragedy that follows when the sovereign King Lear announces the end of his reign and the division of his kingdom among his three daughters.


Set in an alternate universe 21st-century highly militarized London, the sovereign King Lear calls his family together one evening in order for him to announce the division of his kingdom among his three daughters. The two elder daughters, Regan and Goneril, make open statements about their allegiance to and love for their father and receive each a share of the kingdom. The king's youngest daughter Cordelia, however, finds the act of making such a verbal statement overly superficial and declines to make a comparable declaration. As a result, she is refused her part of inheritance, which is now entirely divided between her two elder sisters, while Cordelia is left to her own devices to survive the end of her father's reign.



In October 2017, the BBC commissioned a new adaptation of the Shakespeare play in a co-production with Amazon Studios. It stars Anthony Hopkins as the title character with Emma Thompson, Emily Watson and Florence Pugh as his daughters. Filming began in the same month in Stevenage,[2][3] A first look image was distributed in February 2018.[4]

Scenes were also filmed in various locations in Dover Kent, such as at Dover Castle, Samphire Hoe, and Abbot’s Cliff. [5]


Anthony Hopkins, at the age of 80, was deemed ideal for the role and “at home with Lear's skin” by critic Sam Wollaston.[6]


  1. ^ "Trailer: King Lear, King Lear - BBC Two". BBC.
  2. ^ "Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson to Star in 'King Lear' for Amazon and BBC".
  3. ^ Elvery, Martin. "Stevenage filming: Sir Anthony Hopkins spotted as scenes shot for BBC's King Lear".
  4. ^ "First Look: Anthony Hopkins Stars as King Lear in BBC/Amazon Adaptation".
  5. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office King Lear Article".
  6. ^ Wollaston, Sam (28 May 2018). "King Lear review – Anthony Hopkins is shouty, vulnerable and absolutely mesmerising". the Guardian.

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