Masterpiece PBS and the BBC have officially announced the second season of Wolf Hall, titled Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light, based the final novel of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning trilogy.
Set to begin filming soon, the series will see the return of stars Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance, who reprise their roles as King Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, respectively. The project reunites the team behind the BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning first series as Peter Kominsky will direct the title adapted for television by Peter Straughan and produced by Playground and Company Pictures.
Jonathan Pryce is also set to return as Cardinal Wolsey, Kate Phillips will be back as Henry VIII’s third wife Jane Seymour, and Lilit Lesser as Princess Mary, the daughter of Henry and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. More returning and new cast members will be announced at a later date.
Set in 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 wife and queen, Jane Seymour. With no great family to back Cromwell, he relies on his own wits to navigate the power dynamics at play.
Caught between a desire to do the right thing and survive, Cromwell is faced with uncertainty in the wake of Henry VII having executed his queen. Despite a rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad, and the threat of invasion, Cromwell’s imagination envisions a new country for the future. As England lies at his feet, he sees potential for innovation and religious reform. But all the while Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows.
Years in the making, Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light will chronicle the final four years of Cromwell’s life, completing his journey from a self-made man to the most feared figure of his time. The season follows 2015’s Wolf Hall which featured six episodes.
“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),” director Peter Kominsky said in a statement shared by Masterpiece PBS. “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.”
Stay tuned for more on the forthcoming chapter to the Wolf Hall franchise as The Mirror and the Light continues to take shape at Masterpiece PBS.