Brow Beat

Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Novels Are Now a BBC Miniseries

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.

Still from YouTube

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel’s thrilling account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in 16th-century England, won pretty much every fiction award possible in 2009, and its sequel, 2012’s Bring Up the Bodies, brought the author an unprecedented second Booker Prize. We’ve yet to get the final installment of Mantel’s trilogy, but fans can rejoice: the BBC has announced a miniseries adaptation of the first two novels, which will depict all of Cromwell’s strangely sympathetic villainy in six hour-long episodes.

From the trailer, the series looks like a sprawling costume drama peppered with some of Britain’s finest actors—Mark Rylance as Cromwell, Damian Lewis as Henry VIII, and, in an inspired bit of casting that may justify viewing in itself, Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey. The series will air stateside in April.