ITV has teamed up with Amazon Studios to commission a new seven episode adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair from Victoria and Endeavour indie Mammoth Screen. ITV will serve as the UK broadcaster. Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) is attached to star.
Vanity Fair is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows Becky Sharp (Cooke) as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing”, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.
The seven episode adaptation is being penned by Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel, The Girl, Miss Austen Regrets), Mammoth Screen serve as the lead production company, while Amazon Studios co-produces. The executive producers are Damien Timmer, Gwyneth Hughes, James Strong and Tom Mullens. Broadchurch helmer James Strong is attached to direct. Production is set to commence in London and Budapest in September, for a 2018 premiere. ITV Studios Global Entertainment is handling global sales.
“Vanity Fair feels like the perfect classic to adapt for ITV, and Gwyneth Hughes’ stunning scripts bring the novel to life in a way that will really connect with a modern audience”, said ITV’s Head of Drama Poly Hill, who commissioned the adaptation. “The question was always who would be our perfect Becky Sharp and that is undoubtedly Olivia Cooke! So we are thrilled she has agreed to play Becky, in what promises to be a very exciting new drama for ITV next year.”
“We’re so proud to be working with ITV and Amazon on this most glorious of stories – the combination of Olivia Cooke, Gwyneth Hughes and Thackeray will be an irresistible one, and we look forward to watching Becky Sharp conquer the 21st century!”, added Mammoth Screen’s Managing Director and Executive Producer Damien Timmer.