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The BBC and HBO announced the cast of the upcoming Casual Vacancy miniseries this morning.

The Casual Vacancy cast consists of Michael Gambon, Kelley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie, and Abigail Lawrie amongst many others.

Gambon will play Howard Mollison (owner of the Pagford delicatessen) and McKenzie will play his wife Shirley. The former is an interesting choice for the production since he is an alum of J.K. Rowling’s original series Harry Potter. He played Dumbledore beginning in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Howard’s son Miles will be portrayed by Rufus Jones, and his wife Samantha Mollison will be played by Kelley Hawes.

Rory Kinnear will play Barry Fairbrother, and Kelley Forsyth will play Terri Weedon.

Abigail Lawrie will play Terri’s daughter Krystal Weedon. Monica Dolan will play Tess Wall, and Simon McBurney will play her husband Colin Wall.

Richard Glover will play Simon Price and Marie Critchley will portray his wife Ruth Price. Michelle Austin will play Kay Bawden.

In a statement, the BBC says that additional cast members such as “Parminder, Vikram and Sukhvinder Jawanda, Gaia Bawden, and other key characters including Mary Fairbrother, Maureen Lowe, Lexie and Libby Mollison, and Andrew and Paul Price” will soon be announced.

The Casual Vacancy miniseries begins filming July 7 in South West England.

The series’ synopsis reads, “The Casual Vacancy centres on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade, however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.”

  • Tessa

    Julia McKenzie is perfect casting as Shirley. Not so sure about Michael Gambon though, definitely not what I pictured

  • Garrett Pletcher

    I wonder if Gambon will actually read the book this time.

    • Zack

      Wow, I guess people still haven’t realized that it the DIRECTOR that tells them how to deliver certain lines. Not the actor.

      • Oda

        Of course not, but still – he could have read the source text(s) (aka the HP books). He’s even admitted in interviews that he didn’t. And, I guess, considering his portrayal of Dumbledore in certain scenes (GoF, anyone?), hoping that he reads the book is something I understand people will wish for.

      • Ultron

        Well maybe if he actually understood the character he could’ve argued for a few of those lines. Because screaming “DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE” is not Dumbledore.

      • Nonononononononono

        The actor still gets a lot of input into their portrayal. If you know the character that you’re playing, then you can try to contest the idea of running on set and shoving someone into a trophy case shouting at them when it’s WAY out of character.

        • Juan Pedia

          Gambon was responsible for some misinterpretation of his character, and the directors were responsible for allowing that to happen. It’s the director’s responsibility to guide the actors in communicating the film’s ideas. For certain scenes, this didn’t go well with Gambon. With that said, he did a great job when he better understood the character, and my favorite performances he gave were in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

      • Maria Wang

        That sounds soo wrong, you make it sound as if Michael Gambon didn’t ruin Dumbledore for 90% of the fandom (who actually read the books)

        • Zack

          And how did Michael Gambon ruin Dumbledore? Besides certain parts of GoF, he portrayed Dumbledore as a calm and gentle person in every other film.

      • Garrett Pletcher

        Ditto what the others have said below. But also, I wasn’t referring to that one incident. It’s a travesty that any actor would take on a role in a movie based on a book and not read the source material.

  • SouffleGirl

    When I read the casual vacancy, I always pictured Krystal as Lauren Socha from Misfits for some reason…even if Abigail Lawry don’t look anything like her I’m sure she’ll still do a good job!

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    I never read the book. I had every intention of doing so because, you know, JK Rowling wrote it. But after hearing about it, it never sounded appealing. I’ll definitely watch this though. Its kind of cool that Michael Gambon is going to be in it!

    • http://hmurya.tumblr.com/ hunyum

      It’s a very slow read. I mean VERRRYYY slow, but it’s really worth it. Give it a go. read slow if you have to.

      • Carolien

        it’s very slow in the beginning yeah. i read the last 100 pages or so really quickly though :p.

    • frezb

      The book really only picks up about 2/3 the way in. Took me a long time to get through the first 2/3 though

    • ChickenPotPie

      Well I liked it from the start :)

  • Carolien

    You made a typo, it’s Keeley, not Kelley.
    But hjdhfufj casting news! :)

  • Hera

    I picture Ol Parker (Thandie Newton’s character) to be Howard. I don’t recall Howard being as old as Michael Gambon.

    Archie Panjabi needs to be Parminder. And they could cast Arjun Ramphal as her husband, Vikram.

  • Jenn

    It feels awkward to say it, but Michael Gambon ain’t fat enough for Howard! Howard’s supposed to be morbidly obese! Also he’s Irish whereas I imagined the Mollison’s as a bit Yorkshire in their accents. But we’ll see…

    • ChickenPotPie

      But they’re from the southwest :/ They’d probably just be posh. The more ‘common’ families would have farmer accents (or, listen to the Grundys etc in The Archers). But no Yorkshire

  • Carolien

    i always pictured Terri Weedon as Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri)

  • Maria Wang

    I hope he plays Howard better than he played Dumbledore…and yes I know it’s unfair to judge a legendary actor for that one role…. But come on, how many of us aren’t thinking about that.

  • hpboy13

    So, I’m guessing Gambon will play Howard as a kind, caring, and understanding man.

  • Me

    I didn’t realize 95% of the HP fandom still hated Michael Gambon.

  • Anya

    I’m not familiar with most of the cast, but Michael Gambon as Howard is pretty perfect (I’m getting soft as the years go by and learning to forgive and forget), and Richard Glover as Simon is awesome. I hope they do some flashbacks with Rory Kinnear. I’m just not sure how I feel about Simon McBurney as Colin, I thought he was playing Simon when I saw his name!

  • Emily Bryan

    I remember Howard being a pretty big man? Wonder how they’ll do that for Gambon.

  • Lolleh

    Any more specific than South West England for the filming locations? My hometown is in the area and I’d love to watch them filming.

  • ChickenPotPie

    Gambon? No. Brian Blessed would have been perfect. And if we’re going for HP alum… Helen McCrory as Samantha. i think they’ve cast her too young. The Walls parents looks perfect though.

  • Ian

    I thought Richard Griffiths would’ve been a great casting choice, had he still been alive.

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