The BBC has announced that Wolf Hall, the hit adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, will be returning for a second and final season.


This new season will adapt the third book in Mantel's trilogy, and will be called Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light. It will begin filming shortly, and comes from the same team as season 1.

This includes director Peter Kosminsky (The Undeclared War) and screenwriter Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), while it will be produced by Colin Callender's Playground (All Creatures Great and Small) and Company Pictures (Van Der Valk).

Many of the cast will also be returning, with Mark Rylance back in his BAFTA-winning role as Thomas Cromwell, Damian Lewis back as King Henry VIII and Jonathan Pryce returning as Cardinal Wolsey. Kate Phillips will also be back as Jane Seymour and Lilit Lesser as Princess Mary, the daughter of Henry and Catherine of Aragon.

Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) in Wolf Hall
Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) in Wolf Hall. BBC/Company Productions Ltd/Ed Miller

The official synopsis for the new season says: "May, 1536. Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, is dead. As the axe drops, Thomas Cromwell emerges from the bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

"Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, and no private army. Navigating the moral complexities that accompany the exercise of power in this brutal and bloody time, Cromwell is caught between his desire to do what is right and his instinct to survive. But in the wake of Henry VIII having executed his queen, no one is safe.

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"Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry's regime to breaking point, Cromwell's robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune's wheel turns, Cromwell's enemies are gathering in the shadows.

"The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry's cruel and capricious gaze?"

Director Kosminsky said: "The Mirror and the Light picks up exactly where Wolf Hall ended, with the execution of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn.

"I'm overjoyed to be able to reunite the extraordinary cast we were lucky enough to assemble for Wolf Hall, led by the brilliant Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, with the original creative team of Gavin Finney (DOP), Pat Campbell (Designer) and Joanna Eatwell (Costume Designer).

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"We are all determined to complete what we started – and to honour the final novel written by one of the greatest literary figures of our age, Hilary Mantel."

Meanwhile, Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, said: "A stunning and unforgettable adaptation of Hilary Mantel's sublime novels, Wolf Hall quickly established itself as one of the all-time great television dramas, with millions of adoring viewers across the UK and around the world.

"Almost a decade on, we're delighted to have reunited this exceptional creative team and lead cast to conclude Mantel's thrilling saga on the BBC."

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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