Channel 5 has created a new psychological thriller about King Henry VIII’s most famous wife: the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, mother of the future Elizabeth I.
In February 2021 the channel released its first image of Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith in the title role, dressed in period costume and wearing a replica of the pearl necklace bearing the letter “B” for Boleyn, as seen in the National Portrait Gallery’s painting of Anne.
The period drama is set to take place during Anne’s final five months prior to her execution. “It was such a rapid decline from going from the most powerful position in court after the King to head on a chopping block. That was a great contained space to tell a drama in,” writer Eve Hedderwick Turner told Deadline.
Read on for everything you need to know about Anne Boleyn.
Anne Boleyn release date
Anne Boleyn is set to air on Channel 5 later in 2021.
The three-part series finished its six-week shoot in December 2020, at UK locations including Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.
The series is directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Lynsey Miller (Deadwater Fell, The Boy with the Topknot) and written by newcomer Eve Hedderwick Turner.
Anne Boleyn plot
The drama looks set to reexamine Anne Boleyn’s life and legacy through a feminist lens, “re-imagining” her struggles to conceive a boy and her pushback against the patriarchal society she was born into.
As reported by Deadline, the upcoming series Anne Boleyn “shines a feminist light on the final months of Boleyn’s life, re-imagining her struggle with Tudor England’s patriarchal society, her desire to secure a future for her daughter, Elizabeth, and the brutal reality of her failure to provide Henry with a male heir”.
As the series covers the final months of her life, it will likely chart her downfall in 1536, including her miscarriage, the rise of her rival Jane Seymour (and Henry’s third wife), and the arrests of Anne’s alleged lovers.
Anne Boleyn cast
Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith plays the titular role, Queen Anne Boleyn, wife to Tudor king Henry VIII.
On landing the lead role, Turner-Smith said in a statement: “I am so excited to join these exciting filmmakers in bringing the story of one of history’s most controversial queens to the screen. Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.
“In the hands of Lynsey Miller, the legend of this formidable queen and fierce mother will be seen as a deeply human story that is still so relevant for today. I look forward to bringing my heart and spirit into this daring retelling of the fall of this iconic woman.”
Also starring are Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), Amanda Burton (White House Farm), Thalissa Teixeira (Trigonometry), Jamael Westman (Animals), and Barry Ward (Des).
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