Emma Thompson will star in the Kathleen Chalfant role of a dying English literature professor in an upcoming HBO television version of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit, reported Variety. Mike Nichols will direct.
Since its bow at Off-Broadway's MCC Theatre last season, Wit has become one of the most acclaimed and produced plays in recent memory. Chalfant originally starred as Dr. Vivian Bearing, an expert on John Donne's poetry whose confidence is shaken when she discovers she has terminal cancer. Chalfant is currently playing the part to London audiences.
Thompson has starred in numerous films, many of them period dramas. Among her credits are "Howard's End," "Sense and Sensibility," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Henry V" and "The Remains of the Day." Nichols directed her in "Primary Colors."
Nichols recently revealed he would return to the stage in 2001 to direct Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Natalie Portman in The Seagull. Wit's original director, Derek Anson Jones, recently died.
Wit is due to begin filming in London in September. --By Robert Simonson