Pillars of the Earth

Pillars of the Earth will premiere
Friday, July 23, 2010
The Movie Network in Canada and on Starz in the U.S.
(It will also be shown on CBC in Canada in January 2011)

>>View video of behind the scenes
>>Official website for miniseries
>>Read more details at Ken Follett's website
>>IMDB link

A new series is about to start filming that will feature Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bennett, Mary Crawford, Angel Clare, Will Ladislaw AND Gordon Pinsent. Am I excited? You betcha.
[Now, Fitzwilliam Darcy will not be showing up but we will see Matthew Macfadyen, Donald Sutherland, Hayley Atwell, Eddie Redmayne, Rufus Sewell AND Gordon Pinsent!] I have been thinking about reading this book for a while so now my mind has been made up for me...
I'm curious about Macfadyen's character and looked up in Wikipedia:
Prior Philip is described as a "resourceful and dedicated monk, whose dream is to see Kingsbridge rise to greatness. He becomes the benevolent ruler of Kingsbridge — allocating resources, organising commerce, resolving disputes and meting out justice, essentially without armed force. His moral strictness frustrates several sympathetic characters, but is completely devoid of malice." Can't wait to see MM in this.

Rufus Sewell / Tom Builder

Matthew Macfadyen / Prior Phillip

Ian McShane / Waleran

Hayley Atwell / Aliena

Sarah Parish / Regan Hamleigh

Robert Bathhurst /Percy Hamleigh
(Mr. Weston in the upcoming BBC's Emma.)

Eddie Redmayne / Jack

Donald Sutherland / Bartholomew

Gordon Pinsent / Archbishop

Natalia Woerner / Ellen

David Oakes / William

Skye Bennett / Martha

Liam Garrigan / Alfred

Götz Otto / Walter

John Pielmeier / Cuthbert

David Bark Jones / Francis

Anatole Taubman / Remigius

Jody Halse / Johnny Eightpence

Sam Claflin / Richard

Sidney Johnston / Jonathan

Kate Dickie / Agnes

Tony Curran / King Stephen

Alison Pill / Maud aka. Matilda

Matt Devere / Robert of Gloucester

Freddie Boath / Henry II

Clive Wood / Henry I

The following is an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter,

" Most of the big Euro stations have lined up to air "The Pillars of the Earth," but so far there are no broadcast takers in the U.S. or the U.K.

A Germany-Canada co-production, the eight-hour saga, based on Ken Follett's best-seller, will be directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, who has helmed episodes of "Heroes" and "Saving Grace" and was Steven Spielberg's first assistant director on "Saving Private Ryan" and "Schindler's List."

"Pillars" starts lensing June 22 in Hungary and Austria. The premiere is set for the second half of 2010.

Ian McShane, who starred on HBO's "Deadwood," will play Waleran; Donald Sutherland takes the role as Bartholomew; and Rufus Sewell, who recently headlined "Eleventh Hour," plays Tom Builder. Others who have signed on for the shoot include Matthew Macfadyen ("Frost/Nixon") as Prior Philip, Sarah Parish ("The Holiday") as Regan Hamleigh, Hayley Atwell ("Brideshead Revisited") as Aliena, Eddie Redmayne ("The Other Boleyn Girl") as Jack and Gordon Pinsent ("Away from Her") as the Archbishop.

The novel has been adapted by John Pielmeier, who will also play the role of Cuthbert in the saga. His credits include "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" and "Hitler: The Rise of Evil."

The historical novel set in 12th century England involves war, religious strife and power struggles as well as two interwoven love stories.

The mini already has been licensed to Germany's ProSiebenSat1, Canada's CBC and the Movie Network, Spain's Sogecable, Austria's ORF, Hungary's TV2 and stateside to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for DVD. No broadcast deal is set for the U.S.

"Ken Follett's storytelling artistry presents a richness and brilliance we dream about when searching for outstanding properties for event television," Scott Free principal Ridley Scott said.

Published 20 years ago, the novel has been translated into 30 languages. In 2007, it was named Oprah Winfrey's 60th Book Club selection, prompting the U.S. publisher to ship an additional 1.4 million copies.

Just found out that Ken Follett will have a small cameo in the production...


  1. Wow! We have this as a board game!!!

  2. Interesting...I didn't know that there was one!

  3. I'm so happy to see the CBC is involved in this: for once a historic miniseries I don't have to get on the interweb...

    POTE is one of those books, I think, that most people have heard of and agree is good, but few have actually read, or not lately at least. I've been inspired to read it now.

  4. Yep, me too! Hope to pick it up this weekend. As for it being on CBC, it's about time we Canucks don't have to wait.

  5. Another beautiful historical drama is coming out... Thanks for sharing.

  6. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?! This is one of my favourite books!
    Man...I have fallen off the face of the earth lately. Thanks for posting this!

    (but don't waste your time with the sequel... it's TERRIBLE)

  7. Oh...and the casting looks pretty good! I wasn't sure about Matthew Macfadyen as Philip at first, but now I can see it. And I think Eddie Redmayne is a great choice for Jack!
    The only odd note is that Rufus Sewell is WAY to dashing for Tom Builder, but I'm sure he'll do a great job with it.
    I am so jazzed about this series!

  8. Since I knew about the casting before reading the book, I can easily imagine Macfadyen as the prior. His voice has been leaping off the pages ;)
    I have to say that I'm not as thrilled about the book as I anticipated - it's a bit dry in parts and I'm not a fan of the brutality and raping to say the least! Having said that, I'm halfway through...

  9. Er, yah...I think Ken Follett has a bit of a rape fetish (which is one of the reasons I don't much care for his WWII novels and why I REALLY hated the sequel to Pillars, apart from the terrible plot).
    But this was the first Follett book I'd read, so I hadn't figured that out yet and could take it as a plot point...but I've been pretty disturbed/pissed by everything else I've read of his.

    But I have to say that I've read "Pillars" several times and I still think it's a great book (in fact I re-read it recently to double check, since I couldn't stand his other stuff).
    I think the brutality fits for the time, and I like that none of the characters are 'safe', since it makes the plot less predictable and cliche (it's the same reason I liked 'The Wire').

    But for really outstanding historical fiction you might try the Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson.

  10. Jenn, I'll keep an eye out for Stephenson's books.

    I'm disappointed to hear that the sequel isn't worthwhile. I enjoyed reading Follett's "A Place Called Freedom" years ago and recall it being an adventure without the coarseness that's found in Pillars. And yes, I should have known there'd be brutality in a novel set in this era, which is probably why I don't usually read this kind of book :)

  11. Oh, I just can't wait!!! The Pillars of the Earth is my alltime most favorite book ever!!!

  12. I have a hard time taking Rufus Sewell seriously after watching the BBC modern day remake of 'Taming of the Shrew.' I always see Rufus wearing makeup and a skirt. :D Other than that, I'm seriously excited about this series. Macfadeyn FTW!!

  13. Chel, I'm looking forward to seeing Rufus in a role where he's not grumpy! It seems he always plays the stuffed up meanie!

  14. Ehm... that pic of Matt Devere... That's not Matt Devere but Clive Standen... :)

  15. Anon, thanks for the correction!

  16. I absolutely loved Pillars of the Earth. One of my all-time favourites. I actually loved the sequel World Without End just as much.

  17. Just finished watching the series. Fabo, though of course quite a bit "adapted" from the book. It wouldn't be possible to keep many of the details of the plot the same within an 8hr time frame. But still wonderful to watch. Great cast. ~:D You mentioned CBC was picking it up? I watched it on STARZ wchich is a U.S. pay television channel. Lovely blog Charleybrown, btw!

  18. I haven't been able to watch an episode, I was out of the country, but I will definitely will do my best to find the missing episodes.



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