First Look: Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III in ‘Hollow Crown: Wars of the Roses’

Benedict Cumberbatch is mounting up as Richard III.

The “Sherlock” star sports long locks as the English monarch in the first image from “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses” (embedded below), a followup to 2012's BAFTA-winning BBC telefilms “The Hollow Crown.” This new installment of Shakespeare adaptations will feature filmed versions of the playwright's first tetralogy of historical plays: “Henry VI, Part I,” “Henry VI, Part II,” “Henry VI, Part III” (the three of which will be released in two parts) and “Richard III.” Principal photography on the films began Wednesday in the U.K.

In addition to the image, a round of new cast members have been announced for the adaptations including Michael Gambon, Philip Glenister, Andrew Scott, Jason Watkins, Samuel West, Stanley Townsend, Adrian Dunbar, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Ben Daniels, Ben Miles, Sam Troughton, Stuart McQuarrie, Anton Lesser, Kyle Soller, Phoebe Fox, James Fleet and Lucy Robinson.

Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Keeley Hawes and Tom Sturridge were previously announced. Theater director Dominic Cooke will helm all three films, marking his TV directorial debut.

“After the critical and popular success of the first part of 'The Hollow Crown' – and seven years after we very first suggested the idea to the BBC – I am delighted to announce the start of principal photography on the second half of this magnificent epic story,” said executive producer Sam Mendes in a statement. “Yet again we have assembled an amazing cast – led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, and Sophie Okenedo, amongst many others – under the direction of the hugely talented Dominic Cooke. I'm very excited indeed to see them all bring the rest of this astonishing story to life.”

You can check out full cast breakdowns below.

Will you be watching “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses”? Let us know in the comments.

Cast breakdowns:

“Henry VI part 1
Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret),
Hugh Bonneville (Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester),  
Sally Hawkins (Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester), Tom Sturridge (Henry VI), Adrian Dunbar (Plantagenet), Stuart McQuarrie (Vernon), Lucy Robinson (Young Cecily), Samuel West (the Bishop of Winchester), Stanley Townsend (Warwick), Michael Gambon (Mortimer), Anton Lesser (Exeter), Ben Miles (Somerset), Jason Watkins (Suffolk) and Philip Glenister (Talbot).

“Henry VI part 2
Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III), Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Keeley Hawes (Queen Elizabeth), Tom Sturridge (Henry VI), Adrian Dunbar (Plantagenet), Geoffrey Streatfeild (Edward IV), Sam Troughton (George), Stuart McQuarrie (Vernon), Kyle Soller (Clifford), Lucy Robinson (Young Cecily), Stanley Townsend (Warwick), Anton Lesser (Exeter), Ben Daniels (Buckingham), Ben Miles (Somerset), Jason Watkins (Suffolk), Phoebe Fox (Anne), James Fleet (Hastings) and Andrew Scott (King Louis).
“Richard III
Judi Dench (Cecily, Duchess of York), Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III), Sophie Okonedo (Queen Margaret), Keeley Hawes (Queen Elizabeth), Geoffrey Streatfeild (Edward IV), Sam Troughton (George), Ben Daniels (Buckingham), James Fleet (Hastings) and Phoebe Fox (Anne).