The original play:
- What Could Have Been: 2009 saw two adaptations being planned - the first featuring Al Pacino as Lear and the second Anthony Hopkins. The latter also slated Gwyneth Paltrow as Goneril, Naomi Watts as Regan and Keira Knightley as Cordelia. Both were cancelled, and it was speculated that it was due to the recession. A screen adaptation featuring Anthony Hopkins was eventually released in 2018.
The 1971 Peter Brook adaptation:
- Dueling Works: With Grigori Kozintsev's adaptation in Soviet Russia.
- Playing Gertrude: Irene Worth, who played Goneril, was four years older than Paul Scofield - who plays her father.
The 1983 TV Movie:
- Actor-Shared Background: Leo McKern lost an eye during World War II, just as his character Gloucester gets his own eyes gouged out.
- Playing Against Type: Diana Rigg of course was famous for her role as glamorous Plucky Girl Emma Peel on The Avengers. Playing The Sociopath like Regan is different.
- Real-Life Relative: Laurence Olivier's brother-in-law David Plowright was the executive producer.
- Those Two Actors: Esmond Knight, who played the Old Man, had appeared in all of Laurence Olivier's other Shakespeare adaptations.
- What Could Have Been: Faye Dunaway turned down the role of Regan in order to star in The Wicked Lady.