The made-for-Showtime production will be based on James Goldman's Academy Award-winning 1968 screenplay. The 1968 film, directed by Anthony Harvey, cast Peter O'Toole as Henry II and Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor and also boasted Anthony Hopkins as Richard. The film was based on Goldman's original play, which premiered on Broadway in 1966 with a company led by Robert Preston (Henry II) and Rosemary Harris (Eleanor). The most recent Broadway revival starred Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing in the lead roles.
Hallmark Entertainment and Flying Freehold Productions will produce the film, which is set to begin shooting in Hungary in early 2003. Stewart, who stars in the upcoming Paramount movie "Star Trek: Nemesis," will serve as an executive producer for "Lion" along with Wendy Neuss Stewart, Robert Halmi Sr. and Martin Poll. The latter produced the 1968 film as well.
Patrick Stewart's Broadway credits include A Christmas Carol, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Close, who won Tonys for her work in The Real Thing, Death and the Maiden and Sunset Boulevard, will star on the London stage in a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire in the fall.
—By Andrew Gans