This Week in Period Dramas – Sunday News Roundup 22nd October 2017

October 23, 2017

The nights may be getting earlier and earlier these days (seriously, when did that happen?!) but luckily there’s still plenty to keep us period drama fans entertained while we’re hiding from the cold. Victoria finished in fine style last Sunday for UK viewers but for those with access to on-demand, Outlander has got a really exciting episode this week. Even better, we’re leaving film festival season and approaching awards season, which means more big budget period dramas will be arriving on our screens too.

In terms of news, this week has been all about looking forward, from production and casting updates to imminent releases. Lets get started…

Susanna White’s film, Woman Walks Ahead, secures distributors

Susanna White has a great track record for creating beautiful period dramas, with 2012’s Parade’s End and 2006’s Jane Eyre part of her resume, and her latest film Woman Walks Ahead has just confirmed U.S distribution with A24 and DirecTV. Now that they’ve estimated a 2018 release, it’s likely that international distributors will follow suit.

The film centres around Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain), a painter from Brooklyn who travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Hunkpapa Lakota leader, Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes). She becomes involved in the Lakota peoples’ fight to keep their land.

John Turturro to star in historical murder mystery The Name of the Rose

American character actor John Turturro has been cast in an adaptation of Umberto Eco’s historical novel The Name of the Rose, portraying a 14th Century monk in Rome. Although the novel has been previously made into a film in 1986, this will be its first debut on the smaller screen, with eight English-language episodes.

Turturro will be joined by Rupert Everett, who will play his antagonist, and renowned Italian director Giacomo Battiato will have creative control.

Liv Tyler joins season two of Harlots

Hulu’s Harlots gathered a small following with its first season and has secured another big name for the season two cast. Actress Liv Tyler will portray Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam, an aristocrat whose high society status is threatened by her ties to villainous brothel matriach Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville).

Tyler most recently had a starring role in television drama The Leftovers and was seen last Saturday in the first episode of BBC’s Gunpowder. As it’s still in the very early stages of production, the second season of Harlots doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but we’ll keep you updated when it does.

Director Andy Serkis talks about Breathe

Most of us know Andy Serkis for being a pioneering actor in motion capture,  breathing life into characters like Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes series. However, he’s also been working quietly as an assistant director on a number of features and is now taking the plunge with a directorial debut. For his first film, he chose a quiet period drama, titled Breathe.

The film comes out this week in the US and next week in the UK. It tells the story of pioneering disability campaigner Robin Cavendish and stars Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy. In a great interview with Vanity Fair, Andy Serkis reflects on what drove him to tell Cavendish’s story. It’s definitely worth a read.

Check in with us next Sunday for another news roundup.

More about Jen Scouler

Jen Scouler is a magazine journalist, film critic and the founder of Lost In Drama. With degrees in both English Literature and Digital Journalism, she has experience of writing for popular print and online publications. Jen is also devoted to her metaphorical novelist aunties - Aunt Jane, Charlotte and Jo are particular favourites - and is usually found with an Earl Grey tea in hand.

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