Richard III (2016 film)

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Richard III
GenreHistorical drama
Based onRichard III
by William Shakespeare
Screenplay byDominic Cooke
Ben Power
Directed byDominic Cooke
StarringBenedict Cumberbatch
Sophie Okonedo
Judi Dench
Music byDan Jones
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Sam Mendes
Pippa Harris
Producer(s)Rupert Ryle-Hodges
Running time130 minutes
Production company(s)Neal Street Productions
Original networkBBC Two
Original release
  • 21 May 2016 (2016-05-21)
Preceded byHenry VI, Part 2

Richard III is a 2016 British television film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. It is the seventh and final film in the series of television adaptations of William Shakespeare's history plays produced by Sam Mendes for BBC Two under the title The Hollow Crown.[1] It was directed by Dominic Cooke, who also adapted the screenplay with Ben Power. It starred Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III, Sophie Okonedo as Queen Margaret and Judi Dench as Cecily.[2]

Richard III aired in 2016 as part of the concluding cycle The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, along with a two-part adaptation of the other plays in Shakespeare's first tetralogy, Henry VI, Part 1, Henry VI, Part 2 and Henry VI, Part 3. Benedict Cumberbatch was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Leading Actor and The Wars of the Roses was nominated for Best Mini-Series.[3]



The concluding cycle of plays were produced in 2015 by the same team that made the first series and were directed by the former artistic director of Royal Court Theatre and Olivier Award winner, Dominic Cooke.[1] They were adapted by Dominic Cooke and Ben Power.

Executive producer Pippa Harris stated, "The critical and audience reaction to The Hollow Crown series set the bar high for Shakespeare on screen, and Neal Street (Productions) is delighted to be making the concluding part of this great history cycle. By filming the ‘Henry VI’ plays as well as ‘Richard III,’ we will allow viewers to fully appreciate how such a monstrous tyrant could find his way to power, bringing even more weight and depth to this iconic character."[4]

Once again, the production returned to Kent for The Wars of The Roses, filming at Dover Castle, Leeds Castle and Penshurst Place.[5]


The second cycle of plays aired on consecutive Saturday evenings on BBC Two commencing Saturday 7 May 2016.[6][7]

Home media[edit]

A Region 2 DVD set of The Wars of the Roses was released on 20 June 2016. A Region 1 DVD set was released on 21 June 2016.


The original music soundtrack from The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses composed by Dan Jones was released on the Wave Theory Records label in June 2016 and performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales[8][9]


Award Result Category Recipient
BAFTA Television Awards 2017 Nominated Best Leading Actor Benedict Cumberbatch
Nominated Best Mini-Series The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses
BAFTA Television Craft Awards 2017 Nominated Best Costume Design Nigel Egerton


  1. ^ a b "BBC Two - The Hollow Crown". BBC. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  2. ^ "BBC Two announces further casting for The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses". BBC Media Centre. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2017: full list of winners". The Guardian. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 22 Jan 2018.
  4. ^ Barraclough, Leo (6 April 2014). "Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Richard III in Neal Street's Film for BBC". Variety. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  5. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses Article".
  6. ^ "Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Henry VI". UPI. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  7. ^ "The best star studded Shakespeare TV adaptations". UK Radio Times. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  8. ^ "The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (Film music soundtrack by Dan Jones)". Wave Theory Records.
  9. ^ "The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (Dan Jones & BBC National Orchestra of Wales)". Amazon UK.

External links[edit]