Emma Thompson has been cast to star in “Years & Years” from writer Russell T. Davies, it was announced Thursday. The six-part limited series is a RED Production Company production, in co-production with HBO, BBC One and CANAL+.
Here’s the logline for the series: “As Britain is rocked by unstable political, economic and technological advances, we follow the Lyons family as their complex lives converge on one crucial night in 2019. Then, over the next 15 years, the twists and turns of everyday life are explored as we find out if this ordinary family could ever change the world.”
Thompson will play Vivienne Rook, an outspoken celebrity turned political figure whose controversial opinions divide the nation. She’s a new breed of politician, an entertainer, a rebel, a trickster, and her rise to power leads us into an unknown future.
Thompson will be joined by Jessica Hynes, Rory Kinnear, Ruth Madeley, T’Nia Miller, Anne Reid and Russell Tovey.
Kinnear will play Stephen Lyons, a financial advisor and the family’s peacekeeper who is married to Celeste played by T’Nia Miller, (Obey, Marcella), an ambitious and opinionated accountant.
Tovey will play Daniel Lyons, a hard-working housing officer and Stephen’s brother. Hynes will play Edith, their radical, dangerous and calculating sister, who has a secret life. And Madeley will play their other sister, the very pregnant Rosie. Reid presides over the family as Muriel, imperial grandmother to the Lyons.
“This is a dream cast, put together by Andy Pryor, the man who found Jodie Whittaker to be Doctor Who. I’m very lucky, and very excited to start filming,” said Davies in a press release Thursday. Production on the series begins in Manchester this week.
“No other writer could have written such an original, important and entertaining state of the nation drama; with a family at its centre that an audience will want to spend time with. I’m thrilled a cast of this calibre will bring them to life,” added Nicola Shindler CEO StudioCanal UK, Executive producer for RED Production Company.
“HBO is thrilled to once again partner with the BBC and to be joining RED Production Company in showcasing the stellar work of Russell T Davies and Emma Thompson with this sweeping family saga which captures the spirit of our time,” HBO president Casey Bloys added.
“Russell T Davies is a master storyteller and we are utterly thrilled with this truly magnificent cast who are set to bring this unique and captivating family drama to life on BBC One,” said Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama.
“CANAL+ is very excited to pre-buy this unique series for our line-up of foreign drama,” Jean-Marc Juramie, senior EVP, Pay TV Content of CANAL+ Group said. “This epic saga reuniting the acclaimed creator Russell T Davies and an A-list UK cast will appeal to our subscribers. CANAL+ is delighted to continue its ongoing and fruitful partnership with STUDIOCANAL’s RED Production Company.”
“Years & Years” was commissioned for BBC One by Piers Wenger, controller BBC Drama Commissioning and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content. International Distribution will be handled by STUDIOCANAL.
The drama is created, written and executive produced by Davies, with Nicola Shindler and Michaela Fereday as executive producers for RED Production Company and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Series producer is Karen Lewis. Simon Cellan Jones directors and also executive produces.