CBS Studios has today unveiled a new eight-part historical drama series titled “King and Conqueror,” featuring James Norton as Harold, Earl of Wessex, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as William, Duke of Normandy. Notable for his roles in “Little Women,” “Mr. Jones,” and “Happy Valley,” James Norton will also take on an executive producer role through his production company, Rabbit Track Pictures. Similarly, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, known for “Game of Thrones,” “Mama,” and “Oblivion,” will serve as both a director for one episode and an executive producer.
The series, written by Michael Robert Johnson, renowned for his work on “Sherlock Holmes” and “The Frankenstein Chronicles,” will debut on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The opening episode will be directed by Baltasar Kormákur, known for his work on “Trapped,” “Everest,” and “Adrift.” Filming is scheduled to take place in Iceland the following year, with TDP Development Partnership, Rabbit Track Pictures, Shepherd Content, and CBS Studios collaborating on production, in association with the BBC. Icelandic production services will be facilitated by RVK Studios.
“King and Conqueror” narrates a pivotal clash that shaped the destiny of a country and a continent over a millennium. The narrative delves into the intertwined family dynasties of Harold of Wessex and William of Normandy, whose struggle for power spanned two countries and a tumultuous sea. The two allies, initially without designs on the British throne, are compelled by circumstance and personal obsessions into a war for control over its crown, culminating in the historic Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Lindsey Martin, Sr. Vice President, International Co-Productions & Development, CBS Studios, says: “We are thrilled to partner with James, Nikolaj, Baltasar, and the entire creative team on King and Conqueror, a truly groundbreaking series with world-class talent and global reach. Michael’s scripts offer a bold and fresh take on a story that has endured for nearly 1,000 years, and yet, the themes are as contemporary and relevant as ever. We are incredibly proud of what the team has achieved and can’t wait to see it all come to fruition on screen with our star-studded cast.”
Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says: “In the UK we learn about William the Conqueror, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s gruesome death in our school history lessons – but those headlines are all most of us can remember. King and Conqueror will bring Harold and William to life, depicting their lives, loves and families, and the gripping, high-stakes power game that led to their fateful meeting in 1066. With incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera, I cannot wait for this exciting project to be realised.”
Creator and executive producer Michael Robert Johnson spearheads the 8-episode, 60-minute series. Executive producers include James Norton, Kitty Kaletsky (Rabbit Track Pictures), Robert Taylor (TDP Development Partnership), Dave Clarke, Richard Halliwell (Shepherd Content), Ed Clarke, Robert Jones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Baltasar Kormákur, and CBS Studios’ Lindsey Martin. Baltasar Kormákur will direct the premiere episode and provide executive oversight for the entire series.
The BBC has secured broadcasting rights for “King and Conqueror” in the United Kingdom, while Paramount Global Content Distribution will handle distribution outside the UK.