“Many a true word has been spoken in jest” but this is no joke (we could go up in smoke) The BBC is teaming up with Amazon to bring King Lear to the small screen in 2018.

Set in fictional present day, King Lear sees Anthony Hopkins as the eponymous ruler, presiding over a totalitarian military dictatorship in England with the aging king’s descent into madness taking the action to Germany along the way.

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The BBC adaptation will reunite Hopkins with his Remains of the Day and my favoruite Merchant-Ivory E.M. Forster film Howard’s End co-star, Emma Thompson who will play eldest daughter Goneril. Emily Watson and Florence Pugh playing daughters Rehan and Cordelia respectively.

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But director Richard Eyre’s (Notes on a Scandal) spectacular cast doesn’t end there as Andrew Scott (Sherlock) takes on the role of loyal son Edgar, Jim Broadbent (Game of Thrones) plays the Earl of Gloucester.

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Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers) also stars, but in an unannounced role. Perhaps so perhaps “Who is it that can tell me who I am” marks a fitting epithet.

King Lear will descend into madness on Amazon Prime, followed closely by the BBC in 2018.