BBC One and Starz have announced a four-part co-production of E.M. Forster’s Howards End, adapted by Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), with Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) and Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street) confirmed to star.
Howards End explores the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn of the century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working class Basts.
Set in 1910, Helen and Margaret Schlegel (Hayley Atwell) live in London with their brother, but the lease on their flat is about to expire. Margaret has recently befriended the ailing Mrs Wilcox, who decides to bequeath her house, Howards End, to her.
However, upon Mrs Wilcox’ death her family close ranks, refusing to inform Margaret of her inheritance. When the widowed Henry Wilcox (Matthew Macfadyen) begins to take a romantic interest in Margaret, the ensuing relationship leads to tragedy.
BBC Executive Producer, Lucy Richer, says: “Kenneth Lonergan is one of our truly great contemporary voices, and his adaptation of this adored timeless classic will surprise and delight a whole new audience with its timely and relevant themes.”