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James Norton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to star in new William the Conqueror drama

James Norton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will lead a new historical drama about William the Conqueror credit:Bang Showbiz
James Norton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will lead a new historical drama about William the Conqueror credit:Bang Showbiz

James Norton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will lead a new historical drama about William the Conqueror.

‘King and Conqueror’ - produced by CBS Studios and set to air on BBC One and iPlayer - will see the ‘Little Women’ actor play Harold, Earl of Wessex, in a power struggle for the English throne with the ‘Game of Thrones’ star as William, Duke of Normandy, before the fateful Battle of Hastings in 1066, which ultimately saw the Norman take the thrown after Harold was killed by an arrow to the eye.

The eight-part historical drama will be written by ‘Sherlock Holmes’ creative Michael Robert Johnson.

In a statement, the Head of BBC Programme Acquisition Sue Deeks described her excitement for the show, and promised viewers a powerful and gripping tale.

She said: “In the UK, we learn about William the Conqueror, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s gruesome death in our school history lessons – but those headlines are all most of us can remember.

“'King and Conqueror’ will bring Harold and William to life, depicting their lives, loves and families, and the gripping, high stakes power game that led to their fateful meeting in 1066. With incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera, I cannot wait for this exciting project to be realised.”

As well as starring in the show, James will be an executive producer for the project through his production company Rabbit Track Pictures, whilst Nikolaj will be getting behind the camera for an episode as well as also serving as an executive producer.

The opening episode will be directed by ‘Trapped’ and ‘Adrift’ creative Baltasar Kormakur, with filming set to begin in Iceland next year.

The Sr. Vice President of International Co-Productions and Development for CBS Studios Lindsey Martin expressed her joy with working with these talents, and emphasised the show will be a “fresh take” on a classic English story.

She said: “We are thrilled to partner with James, Nikolaj, Baltasar, and the entire creative team on ‘King and Conqueror’, a truly groundbreaking series with world class talent and global reach.

“Michael’s scripts offer a bold and fresh take on a story that has endured for nearly 1,000 years, and yet, the themes are as contemporary and relevant as ever.

"We are incredibly proud of what the team has achieved so far and can’t wait to see it all come to fruition on screen with our star-studded cast.”