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BBC to air all 37 Shakespeare plays

LONDON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The BBC is embarking on an ambitious project to produce new versions of all 37 of Shakespeare's plays over the next 12 years, employing an ensemble cast.

The BBC originally presented Shakespearean works 30 years ago in a widely heralded seven-year series.

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This time around, the BBC enlisted Oscar-winner Sam Mendes to produce the entire series. Among the notable stars being called upon to act in the Bard's plays are Judi Dench, Jude Law, Ian McKellen and Kate Winslet, The Sunday Telegraph reported Sunday.

"The moment I took the idea to the BBC, they grasped it with both hands, and in a sense they are the only people who could help pull it off," Mendes said.

BBC is discussing a joint finance deal for the series with HBO.

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