Shakespeare is coming to the small screen.
And by that I don’t mean another TV special based on one of the Bard’s works. Although if that’s what you’re interested in I highly recommend The Hollow Crown from the BBC.
This time, the series, Will, will be about Shakespeare himself and his life as a playwright in Elizabethan England. The series introduces actor Laurie Davidson as a young William Shakespeare and follows his life through the sometimes dangerous theater scene in the 16th century. Despite being a prolific writer, very little is actually known about the personal life of the great William Shakespeare. But this mystery lends very well to the speculation we are sure to see in Will.
Entertainment Weekly reports TNT’s vice president of original programming, Sarah Aubrey, said, “Will has an energy and style that is unlike anything else on television today. Shakespeare was a 16th century rock star, and Will perfectly captures in contemporary terms what that must have felt like for the young writer and his fans. We are delighted to be working with such an extraordinary team of executive producers and cast in putting a fresh, bold spin on the story of Shakespeare.”
Will is a part of TNT’s effort to revamp their programming lineup. Kevin Reilly, president of TNT and TBS, stated, “The powerhouse reach of TNT is broadening, with five new originals and a vibrant development pipeline. The word is out before we have even premiered our first show: We’re reaching for something special – taking creative risks with some of the best talent out there and pushing for the best viewing experience on ad-supported TV. And we’re just getting started.”
Olivia DeJonge (The Visit), Colm Meaney (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Mattias Inwood (The Shannara Chronicles), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), and Ewen Bremmer (Trainspotting) will also star in Will.
This isn’t the first time someone has captured William Shakespeare’s life on camera. Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow starred in the 1998 feature Shakespeare in Love which, as the title suggests, portrayed the playwright as he fell in love with a young woman who has disguised herself as a man in order to get cast in Shakespeare’s latest play.
The first season of Will is set to premiere on TNT in 2017.