The BBC has announced the cast for The Last Kingdom, an eight-episode adapatation of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories. The Last Kingdom is the name of the first novel in the series, but it is unclear if the TV series will just follow the first novel or will go beyond that timeframe.
Set in the 9th Century, the story focuses on Uhtred, a young Saxon who is captured by the Danes during a raid and is then raised amongst them. Returning to a England riven by war and invasion, the story focuses on Uhtred's conflicted loyalties as he seeks to reclaim his birthright, whilst also allying himself with Alfred, the only English king ever to be given the title "the Great". There are eight novels in the series altogether, with the latest, The Empty Throne, published last month.
The announced cast so far:
Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred
Matthew Macfadyen as Alfred the Great
Thomas W. Gabrielsson
Henning Valin Jakobsen
The big hitters in the cast are Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, Fatherland and way too many films to mention) and Matthew Macfadyen (Spooks, Pillars of the Earth). Hauer's role is unclear, but the most likely fit is Ragnar the Fearless, the Danish warlord who adopts the reluctant Uhtred and raises him as his son.
The series is now filming in the UK and Hungary and is expected to air on the BBC in 2015.