Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage; Jason Kempin/Getty Image
Natalie Abrams
January 09, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EST

Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen will team together for the first time in Starz’s adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s classic play The Dresser, the network announced at the Television Critics Association’s winter TV previews.

Based on Harwood’s own experiences as a dresser for the distinguished British actor Sir Donald Wolfit, the movie is set against the backdrop of World War II. Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, Thor) will portray Sir, while McKellen (Lord of the Rings, X-Men) will play his dresser, Norman.

The Dresser is a timeless and poignant story about the relationship between artists, and to have this classic play brought to life on-screen by such acting giants as Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen is thrilling,” says Starz Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik. “We are glad to be working in partnership again with the BBC and Colin Callender on this very special project, and to be establishing a relationship with acclaimed theater producer Sonia Friedman.”

The Dresser—a co-production with BBC that will be directed by Richard Eyre and executive-produced by Callender, Friedman, Polly Hilly and Ben Stephenson—will begin production in London later this year.

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