Simon Russell Beale
(© David Gordon)
Simon Russell Beale
(© David Gordon)
The BBC has announced casting for its forthcoming series of films based on Shakespeare's history plays Richard II, Henry IV (Parts I and II) and Henry V. Rupert Goold, Richard Eyre, and Sam Mendes, respectively will direct the pieces, the first two of which, as previously reported, will be broadcast in the U.S. as part of PBS' Great Performances in 2012.

Goold's Richard II, which will feature Ben Whishaw as King Richard II, Rory Kinnear as Bolingbroke. Patrick Stewart as John of Gaunt, David Suchet as The Duke of York, David Morrissey as Northumberland, Tom Hughes as Aumerle, James Purefoy as Mowbray, Clemence Poésy as Queen Isabella, and Lindsay Duncan as The Duchess of York, along with Lucian Msamati, David Bradley, Isabella Laughland, Daniel Boyd, Finbar Lynch, Richard Bremmer, Harry Hadden Paton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Samuel Roukin, Tom Goodman-Hill, Adrian Schiller, Peter De Jersey, Simon Trinder and Rhodri Miles.

Eyre's two films of Henry IV (Parts I and II) will star Jeremy Irons as the titular monarch, along with Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal. Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff, Julie Walters as Mistress Quickly, Joe Armstrong as Hotspur, Michelle Dockery as Lady Percy, Maxine Peake as Doll Tearsheet, Niamh Cusack as Lady Northumberland, Alun Armstrong as Northumberland, Reece Shearsmith as Davy, Tom Georgeson as Bardolph, Paul Ritter as Pistol, Douglas Henshall as Mowbray. Iain Glen as Warwick and Geoffrey Palmer as Lord Chief Justice, along with Henry Faber, James Laurenson, David Hayman, Robert Pugh, Alex Clatworthy, Stephen McCole, David Dawson, Ian Conningham and Nick Jones.

Hiddleston will also play Prince Hal as he assumes the throne as Henry V in Mendes' film, which will also see Walters, Georgeson and Ritter reprising their roles from the Henry IV movies. The cast of of Henry V will also feature John Hurt as The Chorus, Lambert Wilson as the King of France, Mélanie Thierry as Princess Katherine. Anton Lesser as Exeter, Paterson Joseph as York, Edward Akrout as Louis, The Dauphin, Stanley Weber as the Duke of Orleans, Owen Teale as Fluellen and Richard Griffiths as the Duke of Burgundy, along with Malcolm Sinclair, Nigel Cooke, James Laurenson, Richard Clothier, Tom Brooke, George Sargeant, Gwilym Lee, John Dagleish, Paul Freeman, Geraldine Chaplin, Thomas Dennis, Philippe De Brougada, Maxime Lefrancois and Jeremie Corvillault.