Sir Anthony Hopkins has been cast to play King Lear in the star-studded BBC TV film adaptation of the Shakespeare play.

The 79-year-old Hollywood veteran will play the titular character in the Richard Eyre adaptation of the popular tragedy, which depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him, bringing tragic consequences for all.

Hopkins is joining Hollywood giants including Emma Thompson, who recently voice Mrs Potts in the hit live-action remake of 'Beauty and the Beast', Emily Watson and Florence Pugh, who will play King Lear's daughters.

'Harry Potter' star Jim Broadbent and Jim Carter will play the war ministers Gloucester and Kent in the BBC2 film.

The film will also feature 'Sherlock' star Andrew Scott, who is currently playing the Bard's Dane in the Almeida's production of 'Hamlet', as Edgar with Christopher Eccleston as Oswald.

This isn't the first time the director has adapted a star-studded ensemble for a BBC production.

In 2015, Eyra filmed 'The Dresser' for the BBC with Hopkins, Sir Ian McKellen, Emily Watson, Sarah Lancashire and Vanessa Kirby.

The 'King Lear' adaptation is reportedly set to be a contemporary one, set in a 'fictional present' and the tyrant king using the Tower of London as the base for his dictatorship and is likened to an English Stalin.

The producers of 'The Dresser' - Colin Callander and Sonia Friedman - are also involved with the new BBC adaptation and is part of a series of TV adaptations of stage classics starring major Hollywood and theatre names.

Rehearsal start in September with filming set for October.