19 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Casting Round-Up
03 Jun 2015 : Seán Brosnan
Recent IFTA and BAFTA winner Rea will be cast in ‘Dickensian’
Stephen Rea for BBC 20 part series ‘Dickensian’ which begins shooting, Charlene McKenna and Johnny Award cast in Lifetime pilot and Eoin Macken enters ‘The Forest’.

Stephen Rea cast in 20-part BBC series ‘Dickensian’

Shooting has commenced on an ambitious new 20-part drama series for BBC One entitled ‘Dickensian’ with recent IFTA and BAFTA winning actor Stephen Rea cast as one of the leads.

Set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens’ critically acclaimed novels, Dickensian brings together some of literature’s most iconic characters, including Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham, as their lives intertwine in 19th century London. The Old Curiosity Shop sits next door to The Three Cripples Pub, while Fagin’s Den is hidden down a murky alley off a bustling Victorian street. With a wealth of back stories sourced from the novels, Dickensian delivers fast-paced storylines with surprising twists and turns.

Rea, who has recently won an IFTA and BAFTA for ‘The Honourable Woman’, will star alongside Pauline Collins OBE (‘Upstairs Downstairs’, ‘Bleak House’), Caroline Quentin (‘Men Behaving Badly’, ‘Life Of Riley’) and Peter Firth (‘Spooks’, ‘Mayday’).

Speaking about his role on the show, Rea said: “Dickensian is the most beautiful re-working of the world of Dickens that you could ever imagine. The characters take on a fresh life, and any actor would be mad not to accept the challenge these great scripts offer.”

‘Dickensian’ is a Red Planet Pictures production. Lead writer on the series is Tony Jordan, alongside additional episodic writers including, Sarah Phelps (The Casual Vacancy), Simon Winstone (Death In Paradise), Julie Rutterford (Shameless) Chloe Moss (Switch) and Justin Young (Holby City). Tony Jordan and Belinda Campbell are executive producers for Red Planet Pictures and Polly Hill is executive producer for BBC One. BBC Worldwide is the international distributor for ‘Dickensian’, as part of their exclusive first-look development deal with Red Planet Pictures.

Charlene McKenna and Johnny Ward cast in Lifetime TV series

Irish actors Charlene McKenna and Johnny Ward have both landed roles in upcoming ‘The Clan of the Cave Bear’ pilot for US network Lifetime.

According to Deadline, the pilot will be written by Linda Woolverton who also wrote the film ‘Maleficent’ and is based on Jean M. Auel’s series of best-selling novels.

It takes place at a time in prehistory more than 25,000 years ago when Neanderthals shared the planet with the first early modern humans and a band of cave dwellers adopts blond and blue-eyed Ayla, a child of the “Others.” As Ayla matures into a young woman of spirit and courage, she must fight for survival against the jealous bigotry of Broud (Johnny Ward), who one day will be clan leader. McKenna will play Iza, Brun’s sister and the Clan’s medicine woman.

Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Allison Shearmur, Francie Calfo, Woolverton and Auel executive produce the pilot and Pierre Morel (‘Taken’, ‘The Gunman’) will direct.

Eoin Macken cast in US thriller ‘The Forest’

Eoin Macken has joined the cast of supernatural thriller ‘The Forest’ opposite Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney.

According to Screen International, Jason Zada directs ‘The Forest’ from a screenplay by Sarah Cornwell and Nick Antosca based on an original idea by David S Goyer.

Macken is currently starring in the Sony/NBC series ‘The Night Shift’ and has previously starred in ‘The Tudors’ and ‘Raw’.

‘The Forest’ is currently in production and Gramercy Pictures is scheduled to release nationwide in the US on January 8 2016.

Good Universe continues international sales on the project, which Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions previously acquired for multiple territories including Australia, Spain, Eastern Europe and all Asia excluding Japan.

Tory Metzger and David Linde of Lava Bear Films produce alongside Goyer through his Phantom Four label.

Len Blavatnik, Aviv Giladi, and Lawrence Bender serve as executive producers for co-financiers AI Film.

The Forest takes place in the infamous suicide spot of Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt Fuji as a young American woman goes in search of her missing twin sister.

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