MICHELLE FAIRLEY CAST AS MARGARET BEAUFORT IN "THE WHITE PRINCESS" FROM STARZ
JODIE COMER CAST AS PRINCESS ELIZABETH OF YORK IN THE ADAPTATION FROM PHILIPPA GREGORY'S HISTORICAL NOVEL
Beverly Hills, Calif. - May 10, 2016 - Starz announced today that Michelle Fairley ("Game of Thrones," "Rebellion") will play the role of Margaret Beaufort in "The White Princess," the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed STARZ Original Miniseries event "The White Queen," from Company Pictures. Up-and-coming actress, Jodie Comer ("Doctor Foster," My Mad Fat Diary") also joins the cast as Princess Elizabeth of York. Adapted from Philippa Gregory's best-selling novel of the same name and part of The Cousins' War book series, "The White Princess" tells the story of England's War of the Roses from the perspective of the women. The 8-episode limited series drama will begin shooting on location in Bristol, England later this year.
Margaret Beaufort, Henry Tudor's mother and mastermind behind his ascent to the Throne of England, was a philanthropist, a benefactor for the Church, and a murderer. Margaret knows that getting the throne and keeping it safe for the Tudor line are two different things, especially as York rivals continue to plot against them with increasing success.
Princess Elizabeth of York (Lizzie) is forced into marriage to unite the Houses of York and Tudor, realizing that she has no choice but to do her duty for England and marry the new King, Henry VII. The union brings Lizzie in direct conflict with Henry's strong-willed mother. As Margaret's influence over her son begins to wane and Lizzie's star rises, Margaret beings to unravel as the sins of the past and present weigh heavily on her conscience and her relations with Henry are at risk of potentially imploding.
Award winning actress Michelle Fairley's acting career richly spans across theater, film and television. Fairley is perhaps most internationally known for her staunch portrayal of Catelyn Stark in HBO's acclaimed "Game of Thrones" in its first three seasons. She can be currently seen in SundanceTV's Irish historical drama miniseries, "Rebellion," as Dolly Butler and will also be appearing in the upcoming Season Two of Pivot's first original scripted series, "Fortitude," a dramatic thriller set amidst a tight-knit Arctic community. Her previous reoccurring television credits include ABC's drama "Resurrection" alongside Frances Fisher and Kurtwood Smith, Fox's event series, "24: Live Another Day" with Kiefer Sutherland, and USA Network's acclaimed legal drama "Suits." She last appeared on stage in the 2015 revival of BAFTA award-winning writer Abi Morgan's play "Splendour" at London's Donmar Warehouse, and she has also claimed roles in Jean Paul Sartre's existentialist work "Huis Clos" as Ines, in "Othello" as Emilia, directed by Michael Grandage and also starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ewan McGregor, and in "The Weir" directed by Ian Rickson that played in London and on Broadway, amongst others. On the big screen, Fairley has recently appeared in Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth, Stephen Frears' Philomena with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, and Ralph Fiennes' The Invisible Woman.
Rising U.K. actress Jodie Comer, originally from Liverpool, garnered attention from her breakout role in E4's BAFTA and International Emmy Award nominated British comedy-drama, "My Mad Fat Diary" adapted from the novel by Rae Earl. Comer went onto star in BBC One's supernatural drama mini-series "Remember Me" opposite Michael Palin. Comer also starred in BBC One's "Lady Chatterley's Lover" with Richard Madden and Holliday Grainger adapted from D.H. Lawrence's tale. Following this, Comer starred in BBC One's BAFTA nominated ratings phenomenon "Doctor Foster." The mini-series was written by award-winning writer Mike Bartlett and directed by Tom Vaughan. Later this year, Comer will reprise her role in the highly anticipated second series of "Doctor Foster." Comer recently received rave reviews for her leading performance in BBC Three/BBC America's "Thirteen," a five-part psychological drama about a young woman working her way back into society after being abducted. Comer played Ivy Moxam, who escaped from a cellar that had been her prison for the last thirteen years. She is currently filming BBC One's "Rillington Place" a gripping three-part drama based on the real-life murders undertaken in Notting Hill in the 1940s and 50s by John Christie, played by Tim Roth. Comer will make her big screen debut in the Mark Gill-directed biopic of iconic British singer Morrissey, "Steven."
Fairley is represented by Peter Brooks at Creative Artists Management and Chris Schmidt at Paradigm. Comer is represented by Independent Talent Group in the UK and ICM Partners in the U.S.
"The White Princess" concludes the story of England's War of the Roses and charts the rise of the House of Tudor through the tortuous marriage between Princess Elizabeth of York and King Henry Tudor. The year is 1485 and Princess Elizabeth, daughter of "The White Queen," has been pledged in marriage to the newly anointed King Henry Tudor in hopes that it will bring peace to a war-torn country. England is united, but their marriage is soon divided, as rumors circulate that Elizabeth's long-lost brother Prince Richard is alive and planning to take the throne. Now she must choose between Tudor wife and York princess, between her new husband and the boy who claims to be her own blood and the true heir to the crown.
It was previously announced that acclaimed writer Emma Frost ("The White Queen," "The Man in the High Castle," "Shameless") will return to serve as Showrunner and Executive Producer with Gregory serving as Executive Producer for "The White Princess." Lachlan MacKinnon ("Burton and Taylor") will serve as Producer for the series. Playground's Colin Callender ("The White Queen," "The Dresser," "The Missing," "Wolf Hall") will serve as Executive Producer with Company Pictures' Michele Buck ("Parades End," "Sex Traffic," "Hornblower").
About "The White Princess"
The year is 1485 and Henry Tudor is king, having snatched the crown from Richard III in a surprise victory at the Battle of Bosworth. Elizabeth of York, "The White Princess," is faced with marrying Henry, the man who has just killed her lover. While Elizabeth's mother Dowager Queen Elizabeth "The White Queen" encourages her to marry to preserve the York claim of title and ensure her family's safety, Henry's mother Margaret Beaufort detests the idea, but knows it is the only way for her son to stay on the throne and unify a country divided by war.
In the court of Burgundy, the Duchess rules over a new enemy stronghold for disenfranchised Yorkists and all of Henry Tudor's enemies. It is from here that a Pretender is mustering an army. He claims to be brother to the Queen, and the true heir to the throne. But is he the missing prince from the tower sent by his mother, the White Queen? Or a counterfeit prince - a low-born enemy to Henry Tudor and his York princess wife?
Princess Elizabeth must choose between Tudor wife and York princess - between her new husband and baby son, and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother. Has the rose of York come home at last and at what cost to her?
"The White Princess" tells the story of one of the most fascinating periods of British history, spanning the winter court of Henry Tudor - uniquely from the women's point of view. The most ruthless players in history will stop at nothing to support their own causes and those of the ones they love.
"The White Princess" will film on location in Bristol, UK and will air on STARZ in 2017. Starz will retain all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television networks (Starz Networks) and global content distribution (Starz Distribution), www.starz.com. The Starz Networks operating unit is home to the flagship STARZ(R) brand with 24.0 million subscribers in the United States as of March 31, 2016, with the STARZ ENCORESM network at 32.4 million subscribers. Through STARZ, the company provides high quality, entertaining premium subscription video programming with 17 premium pay TV channels and associated on-demand and online services. STARZ is sold through U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms. Starz offers subscribers more than 5,000 distinct premium television episodes and feature films every year and up to 1,500 every month, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular movie and television programming. The Starz Distribution operating unit is home to the Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Digital, and Starz Worldwide Distribution divisions. In addition to STARZ Original series, Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires movies, television and other entertainment content for worldwide home video, digital, and television licensing and sales.
Playground is a New York and London based film, television and theatre company that was founded in 2012 by Emmy and Tony award winning producer Colin Callender. It is committed to producing quality drama for the screen and the stage bringing together the finest US and UK talent from the worlds of theatre, film, and television. Callender won his first Emmy for the television adaptation of the RSC's "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" and, as president of HBO Films, was responsible for an unprecedented award-winning slate of movies and mini-series.
Playground has produced over 50 hours of prime time television drama garnering 13 Emmy nominations and 11 Golden Globe nominations, including a Golden Globe win for Best Miniseries. Recent productions include the Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe winning six-part miniseries adaptation of Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall" starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy and Jonathan Pryce for the BBC and Masterpiece, the television adaptation of Ronald Harwood's "The Dresser" starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins and directed by Richard Eyre for the BBC and Starz, Golden Globe nominated "The Missing" an eight part thriller with Charlie Pattinson's New Pictures for the BBC and Starz, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated "The White Queen" for BBC and Starz, and Golden Globe nominated "Dancing on the Edge" also for BBC and Starz. Upcoming productions include Stephen Poliakoff's post-WWII miniseries "Close To The Enemy" with Helen Flint's Little Island Production and a miniseries adaptation of "Howards End" written by Ken Lonergan for the BBC.
On the theatre front, Playground's recent productions include Jez Butterworth's The River starring Hugh Jackman on Broadway, Nora Ephron's Tony-nominated Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut, Tony-nominated Casa Valentina from Harvey Fierstein, the Tony Award-winning musical revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris; and the critically acclaimed production of Macbeth at The Park Avenue Armory starring Kenneth Branagh. Playground, alongside Sonia Friedman Productions and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions is currently producing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on an original new story by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, that will receive its world premiere in London's West End in the summer of 2016.
About Company Pictures
Company Pictures is one of the UK's largest independent film and television producers.
Founded in 1998, we have produced hundreds of hours of critically acclaimed, award winning drama.
Company has produced major drama series for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, WGBH, HBO, Starz and other leading broadcasters all over the world. Company was responsible for period drama Elizabeth (winner of three Golden Globes), eleven series of the multi award winning Shameless, the much loved long running family series Wild at Heart and the hugely popular teen drama Skins.
Recently, Company produced a big budget six part adaptation for the BBC of Hilary Mantel's prize winning "Wolf Hall" written by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), directed by BAFTA nominated Peter Kosminsky and starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis. "Wolf Hall" won a Golden Globe(R) for Best Television Limited Series and two BAFTAS for Best Drama Series and Best Leading Actor for Mark Rylance.
From seminal drama "The Lakes" in the 1990s to "The White Queen," "Inspector George Gently" and "The Village" today, Company Pictures continues to produce and deliver high quality, distinguished drama that attracts the best talent the UK has to offer.
Since October 2004 Company has been part of All3Media.
All3Media is a leading independent television, film and digital production and distribution companies. The All3Media group is comprised of 21 production and distribution companies from across the UK, Europe, New Zealand and USA including Apollo20, Bentley Productions, Company Pictures, IDTV, John Stanley Productions, Lime Pictures, Lion Television, Little Dot Studios, Maverick Television, MME Moviement, Neal Street Productions, New Pictures, North One Television, Objective Productions, Optomen, One Potato Two Potato, Seven Stories, South Pacific Pictures, Studio Lambert, All3Media America and All3Media International. All3Media is owned jointly between Discovery Communications and Liberty Global.