Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart to Star in Showtime's 'The Lion In Winter'

Based on the Academy Award(R)-Winning

1968 Screenplay by James Goldman

Apr 29, 2002, 01:00 ET from SHOWTIME

    NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Golden Globe,(TM) Emmy(R)-nominated and
 Olivier Award-winning actor Patrick Stewart and Oscar(R) nominated, Emmy(R)
 and Tony(R) Award-winning actress Glenn Close will star as a royal couple,
 portraying King Henry II of England and his scheming wife,  Queen Eleanor of
 Acquitaine in a SHOWTIME Original Picture THE LION IN WINTER.  Based on the
 Academy Award(R)-winning screenplay by James Goldman, the film is being
 produced for Showtime by Hallmark Entertainment and Flying Freehold
 Productions.  The film is slated to begin production in Hungary in early 2003.
     Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Moby Dick, X-Men, and
 SHOWTIME's Safe House), is best known as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard from the Star
 Trek series, but began his notable career on the stage and has a long history
 with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.   Glenn Close (Dangerous
 Liaisons, Sarah, Plain and Tall trilogy, Fatal Attraction and Serving in
 Silence), is widely regarded as one of the screen's most talented actresses.
     Set in 1183 during the Christmas holidays, THE LION IN WINTER begins as
 the reluctant Henry gathers his family around him to name one of his three
 sons as the successor to the throne.  Each son has a flaw which makes the
 decision difficult.  Eleanor, who is summoned from prison where she was sent
 after an attempt on the King's life, plots with her sons to force Henry to
 decide - according to her agenda.  To complicate matters, Henry's mistress,
 Princess Alais of France, whom he hopes to make his next queen, is visited by
 her conniving brother King Philip of France, who also has his own plans for
 Henry's monarchy.  With the fate of the empire at stake, everyone engages in
 their own brand of deception and treachery to stake their claim.
     In addition to starring, Stewart will serve as executive producer along
 with Wendy Neuss Stewart (King of Texas, A Christmas Carol, Star Trek: The
 Next Generation), Robert Halmi, Sr. (Dinotopia, Gulliver's Travels), and
 Martin Poll, who produced the original The Lion In Winter. Creative Executive
 for SHOWTIME is Vicki Letizia.
     Hallmark Entertainment is one of the world's leading producers and
 distributors of miniseries and movies made for television. It is a subsidiary
 of Hallmark Cards, Inc.
     Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom
 Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and
 FLIX, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME TOO, SHOWTIME SHOWCASE,
 FAMILYZONE and TMC xtra.  SNI operates and manages the premium television
 network SUNDANCE CHANNEL, which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal
 Studios.  SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for
 exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SET (Showtime Event
 Television) Pay Per View.  Additionally, the advertiser-supported television
 network SHOWTIME EXTREME is available in Spain through a joint venture with
 Media Park.  SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with
 UK-based Zone Vision.
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