Sunday, August 26, 2012

King Richard Armitage Week: Four Directors Armitage Should Consider for His Richard III Production

I love historical drama but not all historical drama has lived up to my expectations. Though I've watched both The Tudors and The Borgias I must confess I'm not a huge fan of either show. I do like The Tudors much  better, but I still find that both programs often have the look and feel of a glorified soap opera. The Eastenders with lavish costumes and locations.  

Richard Armitage has expressed his interest and commitment to a historically accurate portrayal of  Richard III's life and time.  I have no doubt that whatever project he's involved in will be the best. But television programs and films are a team effort involving many talented and dedicated people including writers, producers, actors, and directors.    

A key element of any successful television program is the right director.  Richard Armitage as producer of a future Richard III television series will need to find someone that shares his vision and will successfully bring his dream project to the screen. In a multi episode series he could select one director to put his stamp on the entire program, or he could use multiple directors for a set of episodes to make it more interesting for the actors and the audience.  I propose the four directors below for his consideration. 

Asif Kapadia

Kapadia is a film and documentary director who often looks to his Asian roots for inspiration, but he was born in London. He has a great eye for location and use of stunning scenery.  The environment and location of the story becomes a character in his hands.  His film The Warrior (trailer below) shows his ability to direct a historical epic.

Ashley Pearce

British director Ashley Pearce has a track record with period dramas having directed episodes of Downton Abbey, Poirot, and Garrow's Law.  He's also directed two episodes of Jimmie McGovern's Accused, including the recent episode Tracie with Sean Bean.

I've been watching Garrow's Law recently (thanks to great film watch friends) and it is the perfect blend of great acting and great directing.  Season 2 has a very period feel to the look,  but a contemporary pace in the story. I love the water imagery and the lighting of the first episode of Season 2 directed by Mr. Pearce (see video below).  His style would translate perfectly to a story of triumph and tragedy like Richard III. 

Brian Percival

Percival is another British director with much experience directing period drama.  Among his best known work is Shakespeare Re-Told (Much Ado About Nothing), The Ruby in the Smoke and The Old Curiosity Shop. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Short Film for his nine-minute short About a Girl.  He has an excellent connection with Richard Armitage having directed him in North & South.  

What can I say about the excellent North & South that hasn't already been said.  Percival brought the best out of actor Richard Armitage for his unforgettable performance as John Thornton and there is no reason to doubt it would be a great partnership of actor and director for Richard III.

Here is a clip of a scene all Armitage fans know well: Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage directed by Brian Percival

Alan Taylor

Taylor is an American director who has directed many great television shows, many that may not be considered "period drama" but tell about a time gone by. I know Taylor's work from Game of Thrones, Mad Men and The West Wing. He also directed several episodes of Rome.

But the film of his that made me think he would be an excellent match for Armitage's Richard III is The Emperor's New Clothes. The film stars Ian Holm (Bilbo!) playing a dual role as Napoleon Bonaparte and his double. The premise of the film is that Napoleon escapes St. Helena and lives incognito in Paris plotting to regain the throne while his double pretends to be the real Napoleon in St. Helena.

Link to Trailer video

This post is my contribution to King Richard Armitage Week.

Don't forget to keep checking the KRA and Me + Richard Armitage website for more quiz questions.


  1. Great list! And I love Brian Percival's work! Cheers! ;->

  2. Very considered selection, Fabo! Would probably vote for Percival, too. It would ensure quality production.


  3. That's three votes for Percival. Looks like he wins :)

    Thank you all for voting!


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