Acclaimed Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance is in talks to take on the lead role in the BBC's adaptation of Hilary Mantel's best-selling novels about Thomas Cromwell.
Mark, a former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe on London's Southbank, is expected to play King Henry VIII's adviser in the BBC2 versions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
They are being adapted by Peter Straughan who wrote the critically-lauded film version of spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
The six-part series follows Cromwell's rise and fall in the Tudor court.
Hilary has admitted the success of the books, which are also being adapted for stage plays by the Royal Shakespeare Company, have become "a phenomenon".
She said: "It's so exciting to see the images that are in your mind come out of your head as it were, as if someone were decoding your dreams for you."
Hilary is currently working on the third part of the trilogy believed to be called The Mirror And The Light.
Mark, who won a Tony and an Olivier award for his performance in Jerusalem in the West End and on Broadway, pulled out of last year's Olympics opening ceremony after the death of his stepdaughter, to be replaced by Kenneth Branagh.