THE STORY: Mike Poulton’s two-part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novels is a thrilling portrait of a brilliant manipulator navigating a high-stakes political landscape. WOLF HALL begins in England in 1527. King Henry VIII needs a male heir, and his anger grows as months pass without the divorce he craves. Into this volatile court enters the commoner Thomas Cromwell. Once a mercenary and now a master politician, he sets out to grant King Henry’s desire while methodically and ruthlessly pursuing his own Reforming agenda.
“The extraordinary enthusiasm for these books across page, stage and screen is partly due to the inherent dramatic power of the narratives…[Mantel and Poulton] bring to the familiar tale of doomed wives and religious convulsion a thrilling originality of psychology and storytelling…absolute dramatic clarity with tantalizing historical ambiguity…Mantel and Poulton, while themselves rewriting history, show the king and his spin doctor doing the same.” —Guardian (London). “…opens like ‘House of Cards’ and ends like 'Game of Thrones'…Mike Poulton’s adaptations keep the language accessible and the political context lucid enough for a general audience. They are also surprisingly funny, with a more broadly comic tone than Mantel’s books…elegantly done…History repeats itself, first as farce, then as tragedy…masterful…highly satisfying.” —The Hollywood Reporter. “…a superbly tense duet…fiercely intelligent…Mantel’s inspired approach, echoed by adaptor Mike Poulton, was to take the decade covering the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn and present everything from an entirely unexpected perspective: that of Cromwell, who rose inexorably from being the son of a blacksmith to becoming the second most powerful man in the kingdom…Poulton ensure[s] the stakes remain high and audiences engaged by the interstices of plots and counterplots.” —Variety. “…the real emotional tension resides mainly in the developing intimacy between Henry and Cromwell, and the disbelieving outrage that it provokes in the old aristocracy…an inexorable tragic momentum…a taut intelligence, and a subtle awareness of the parallels between Tudor times and our own…their verve, intelligence and wit are exhilarating.” —The Telegraph (London).