Helena Bonham-Carter will play Elizabeth Taylor in a one-off 90-minute drama about her tempestuous love affair with Richard Burton.
The Hour star Dominic West will play the legendary Welsh actor in Burton And Taylor, which tells the story of the couple’s appearance in a 1983 revival of Noel Coward’s play Private Lives, about a divorced couple reunited when they honeymoon with their new spouses in neighbouring rooms at the same hotel.
The show will be on BBC4, which has scored several hits with biopic films.
Other shows announced by the BBC include a 13-part Saturday night series called Atlantis, based on ancient Greek myths and made by the team behind Merlin.
There will also be a new version of Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn, set on the windswept moors of Cornwall.
Award-winning playwright David Hare is returning to BBC2 and the shadowy world of espionage with the last two parts of a trilogy that began in 2011 with Page Eight.
And Bill Nighy returns to play intelligence officer Johnny Worricker in Turks & Caicos and Salting The Battlefield.
BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson also announced that hit show Call The Midwife has been recommissioned for a third series and a Christmas special, and Murder In Paradise, starring Ben Miller as a Caribbean cop, has also got a third series.