July: 5 Days to broadcast - Preview in the NY Post:
in ‘Pillar’ battle medieval treachery for a cause
By ROBERT ABELE, 18th July 2010
The character in “Pillars” that readers loved
to hate has always been William Hamleigh, a ruthless aspirant
to earldom who commits many vile acts. British actor David
Oakes says that playing the role has its own odd rewards.
“If you look at all the good guys in this film,
they get to kiss girls and look handsome,” says Oakes,
26. “But I got to fight with swords, set fire to people
and I got to do it wearing leather, looking medieval with
gruesome facial hair. I’m hoping I get some hate mail.”
One letter writer could be Oakes’ own father, a
clergyman who bought the novel upon learning of his son’s
casting, only to have it fall open to a page describing one
of William’s more awful sins.
“He said, ‘Congratulations, but I’m
not particularly keen that you’re playing that character,’”
recalls Oakes, laughing. “He’s been fantastic,
but he doesn’t know a lot of what I shot, so he might
disown me afterwards.”
At least Oakes has a fan in Follett, who was pleased
with the casting...
A full quarter
of an hour 'Behind the Scenes' feature of "The Pillars
of the Earth" on Starz and Starz HD... on Friday July
9th at 1:45pm (ET/PT)
10th June: David Oakes joins
"The Borgias" "British
actors David Oakes and Holliday Grainger are to perform a
brother-sister role in the Showtime drama "The Borgias."
Oakes ("The Pillars of the Earth") is to play Juan
Borgia, while Grainger ("Jane Eyre") will perform
the role of Lucrezia Borgia.The
duo join an ensemble cast led by Jeremy Irons, Colm Feore,
Derek Jacobi as Cardinal Orsini in the first two episodes,
and Francois Arnaud."
April: STARZ! preview of 'Pillars of the Earth'
Albrecht has found the first pillar of his event programming
strategy for Starz.
pay cabler has acquired U.S. TV rights to "The Pillars
of the Earth," a sweeping eight-hour limited series based
on the 1989 Ken Follett bestseller of the same name. Project
marks the first major programming move made by Albrecht since
he took the reins as Starz prexy-CEO in January.
The $40 million
costume drama, produced by Germany's Tandem Communications,
Muse Entertainment and Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free
Prods., revolves around war, religious strife and power struggles
over the construction of a cathedral in 12th century England.
Stars include Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Matthew Macfadyen,
Donald Sutherland, Hayley Atwell, Alison Pill and Sarah Parish..."
January: Ken Follett's Blog Entry on William Hamleigh
then there’s William Hamleigh. One of the first things
Oprah Winfrey said to me when she rang to let me know she
had read the book and was going to name it as one of her book
club selections, was how much she loathed this character.
She’s not the only one. When I travel, I often meet
readers who say “…that William Hamleigh”.
about the characters in the book as if they were real people
she’d met on a trip or something. That was a big thrill
for me of course.
is Percy and Regan’s strikingly handsome yet brutish
son. He is his mother’s pawn in her master plan to gain
power and wealth for her family. William is the embodiment
of pure evil. His obsession with the Earl of Shiring’s
daughter, Aliena, becomes the driving force in his life.
young British actor David Oakes plays William. He is one of
the nicest young actors I’ve met, always smiling, so
easy-going, yet finds within himself the ability to totally
convince us that this is a man with absolutely no redeeming
characteristics, a person beyond all civilized hope but one
who might actually succeed in achieving his goals.
one thing to write these characters. But it’s an extraordinary
experience to see them become real in the hands of such wonderfully
years after its first publication, The Pillars of the
Earth, considered by most to be Ken Follett's masterpiece,
is once again Number #1 on the New York Times trade paperback
list and has been optioned by Ridley Scott's Scott Free, Muse
Entertainment and Tandem Communications to be made into a
limited television series.
Pillars of the Earth
is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue,
violence and beauty. This sensuous, spirited and passionate
story is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and
power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that
time, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge.
this backdrop, love-stories entwine: Tom, the master builder,
Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip,
the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and
Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once,
this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that
shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age. Follett
masterfully weaves these stories through the political turmoil
of 12th century England, creating a relevant and viable world
for today's audience and for generations to come.
in Hungary and Austria, the eight-hour limited series is directed
by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Heroes, Saving Grace, Steven Spielberg’s
Into the West). Mimica-Gezzan worked as Spielberg’s
first assistant director on several top-grossing movies including
Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List.
Pillars of the Earth stars Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland,
Rufus Sewell, Matthew Macfadyen, Sarah Parish, Hayley Atwell,
Eddie Redmayne and Gorden Pinsent amongst others.
will play the sadistic, power-hungry William Hamleigh.
on the set being directed by Sergio Mimica Gezzan.