Richard II (2012 film)

Richard II is a 2012 British television film based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. It is the first of four television adaptations of Shakespeare's second history tetralogy commissioned by BBC Two under the series title The Hollow Crown. Richard II was directed by Rupert Goold, who adapted the screenplay with Ben Power. Ben Whishaw stars as the titular Richard II of England. It was first broadcast on 30 June 2012 on BBC2.[1]

Richard II
GenreHistorical drama
Based onRichard II
by William Shakespeare
Screenplay byRupert Goold
Ben Power
Directed byRupert Goold
StarringBen Whishaw
Rory Kinnear
Patrick Stewart
David Suchet
David Morrissey
Tom Hughes
James Purefoy
Clémence Poésy
Lindsay Duncan
Ferdinand Kingsley
Samuel Roukin
Harry Hadden-Paton
Finbar Lynch
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
ProducersPippa Harris
Sam Mendes
Gareth Neame
Rupert Ryle-Hodges
CinematographyDanny Cohen
Running time148 minutes
Production companiesNeal Street Productions
Original networkBBC Two
Original release
  • 30 June 2012 (2012-06-30)
Followed byHenry IV, Part I

Whishaw's performance earned him the 2013 British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for Leading Actor. The program was also nominated for the Best Single Drama award.[2]



St David's Cathedral during the filming of Richard II in June 2011

The BBC scheduled the screening of Shakespeare's history plays as part of 2012's Cultural Olympiad, a celebration of British culture coinciding with the 2012 Summer Olympics.[3] Sam Mendes signed up as executive producer to adapt all four of Shakespeare's tetralogy (Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V) in September 2010.[4] He is joined as executive producer by Pippa Harris (both representing Neal Street Productions), Gareth Neame (NBCUniversal), and Ben Stephenson (BBC).[5]

Richard II was shot entirely on location, including at St David's Cathedral, Pembroke Castle and Packwood House.[3] It completed filming in July 2011.[5] One of the characters in Richard II, the Duchess of Gloucester, is absent from this film adaptation.


  1. ^ "The Hollow Crown: Richard II". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  2. ^ "TV Baftas 2013: all the winners". The Guardian. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Liverpool actor David Morrissey to star in new BBC production of Richard II". Liverpool Echo. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Sam Mendes for BBC Shakespeare season". BBC News. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Cast confirmed for BBC Two's cycle of Shakespeare films" (Press release). BBC Drama Publicity. 24 November 2011. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011.

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