have joined the cast of the BBC's adaptation of a trilogy of classic Shakespeare plays.
Cumberbatch will play Richard III in the third part of the Wars of the Roses Hollow Crown series. Dench will play the role of Cecily, Duchess of York after Cumberbatch asked her to appear alongside him when she appeared at the Hay Festival earlier this year, reported BBC online.
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Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville will play the Duke of Gloucester in the first of two Henry VI instalments. Sally Hawkins, who most recently starred opposite Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's excellent Blue Jasmine, will play Bonneville's wife.
The BBC Two dramatisations will begin filming later this year, though a transmission date is yet to be announced.