MGM+ has ordered a 10-episode series, The Winter King, boasted as a bold and revisionist take on well-loved Arthurian legends based on Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles trilogy.
The series is set in the fifth century, long before Britain was united, in a brutal land of warring factions and tribes, where lives were often fleeting. The series follows Arthur Pendragon as he evolves from outcast to legendary warrior and leader. The global series premiere is scheduled for August 20, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on MGM+.
The novels, written in the mid-90s, are a blend of historical fiction and Arthurian legend. The books were very well received by fans of fantasy and historical fiction alike, with the author himself stating that these three are his favorite of all he’s written.
“It’s long been Bad Wolf’s ambition to bring the Arthurian legend to the screen. It’s a story of courage, sacrifice and passion that has endured for generations,” said Julie Gardner, executive producer. “With Bernard Cornwell’s trilogy as our North Star, we are honored to be on this quest with our wonderful partners at MGM+, ITVX and Sony Pictures Television.”
The series stars Iain De Caestecker (The Control Room, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Arthur Pendragon, alongside Eddie Marsan (The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe, Deceit) as High King Uther, Ellie James (Giri/Haji, I May Destroy You) as Nimue, Nathaniel Martello-White (Small Axe, I Hate Suzie) as Merlin, Stuart Campbell (Rogue Heroes, Clique) as Derfel, Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie, The Crown) as Owain, Valene Kane (The Fall, Gangs of London) as Morgan, Jordan Alexandra (Mammals) as Guinevere, and Simon Merrells (Good Omens, Knightfall) as Gundleus.
The ensemble cast also features Steven Elder (The King, A Spy Among Friends) as Bishop Bedwin, Andrew Gower (Outlander, Carnival Row) as Sansum, Aneirin Hughes (Keeping Faith, Dream Horse) as Gorfydd, Emily John (My Policeman) as Ceinwyn, Tatjana Nardone (Devils, State of Consciousness) as Ladwyss, Ken Nwosu (Killing Eve, The Letter for the King) as Sagramor, and Billy Postlethwaite (The Great, Chernobyl) as Cadwys.
Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders, His Dark Materials) serves as lead director and executive producer, alongside Toby Leslie. Kate Brooke (Bancroft, A Discovery of Witches) and Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness, Manhunt) adapted Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles and act as executive producers. Julie Gardner (Doctor Who, I Hate Suzie), Lachlan MacKinnon (Industry, A Discovery of Witches) and Jane Tranter (His Dark Materials, Succession) serve as executive producers with Sherry Marsh (Pose, Vikings). Shelley Browning and Kenneth L. Browning are also executive producers, and the drama is produced by Catrin Lewis Defis for Bad Wolf, in association with One Big Picture.