The Agent Carter and Conviction alum is set to star in Kenneth Lonergan's TV adaptation of Howards End. Starz is now on board as a co-producer with BBC on the four-part limited series, The Hollywood Reporter reveals.
Additionally, Matthew Macfayden (Ripper Street, MI-5) and Tracey Ullman have signed on for the project, which will be directed by Hettie Macdonald (White Girl).
The drama will explore the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn-of-the-century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business and the working-class Basts.
Atwell will play Margaret Schlegel, Macfadyen will portray Henry Wilcox and Ullman is set as Aunt Juley Mund.
Playground's Colin Callender (Wolf Hall), City Entertainment's Joshua D. Maurer (Papillon) and Alixandre Witlin (The Last Tycoon), and KippSter Entertainment's David A. Stern (The Last Tycoon) will executive produce along with Playground's Sophie Gardiner (Eureka Street) and Scott Huff (The Missing) and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Laura Hastings-Smith (Hunger) is producing.
Howards End will film in and around London before airing on BBC One in the U.K. and Starz in U.S. Starz's senior vp original programming Karen Bailey will serve as the executive in charge for the network.
"Starz continues our commitment to bring quality drama to the screen with Howards End, and we're delighted to once again work in partnership with the BBC and Colin Callender on this literary period piece," Starz programming president Carmi Zlotnik said in a statement.
Added Richer: "Kenneth Lonergan is one of our truly great contemporary voices, and his adaptation of this adored timeless classic will surprise and delight a whole new audience with its timely and relevant themes."
Published by E.M. Foster in 1910, Howards End previously was adapted for the big screen in 1992. The film, starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Bonham Carter, Vanessa Redgrave and Emma Thompson, went on to win three Oscars, including a best actress nod for Thompson in the role Atwell will play in the four-part series.
For Atwell, the part comes after the ABC legal drama Conviction, which ended its run in January after moving from Mondays to Sundays. Although the series has not been canceled, its odds for a season-two renewal are slim. The actress' other roles include Agent Carter, also for ABC, as well as the first Captain America film.
BBC One first ordered the adaptation of Howards End in late 2015, long before Lonergan began gaining notice for his acclaimed drama Manchester by the Sea. He is nominated for two Oscars - best directing and best original screenplay.
Howards End is the latest collaboration between Starz and BBC, which also co-produce The Missing. The two first entered into a multiyear agreement to develop, produce and distribute original drama series in 2011.