BBC Studios is producing The Canterville Ghost, a four-episode limited series adaptation of the Oscar Wilde short story that was commissioned by US broadcaster BYUtv. At present there is no UK broadcaster is attached to the project. Anthony Head (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) is set to star as Sir Simon de Canterville.
A modern retelling, The Canterville Ghost is set in leafy 21st century rural England, and sees American tech billionaire Hiram Otis buy Canterville Chase, unaware that the contents include a malevolent family ghost, Sir Simon de Canterville (Anthony Head), who has been haunting the premises for centuries. Or that his family will face the full might of the English aristocracy: united in opposition to the parvenu Americans. The contemporary reimagining of the classic Oscar Wilde comedy revolves around three families – the aristocratic Cantervilles, the Romani Lovells and the American Otises – who must come together to find redemption and heal the past.
Rounding out the cast is James Lance (Ted Lasso) as Hiram Otis; Caroline Catz (Doc Martin) as Lucy Otis; Laurel Waghorn (Holby City) as Virginia Otis; Carolyn Pickles (Broadchurch) as Mrs. Umney; Haydn Gwynne (The Windsors) as Lady Deborah de Canterville; Jack Bardoe (Belgravia) as The Honourable Cecil Canterville; Harry Gostelow (The Crown) as Lord St. John Canterville; Lizzy Connolly (Call The Midwife”) as Lady Henrietta Stilton; Fred Fergus (Wonder Woman) as Viscount Ralph Stilton; Jeff Rawle (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire”) as Bluey, the Duke of Stilton; Harry Taurasi (The Borgias) as Django Lovell; Cathy Tyson (Mona Lisa) as Masilda Lovell; the voice of Jonty Stephens (Life On Mars) as Cesspitt; Joe and Tom Graves as Frank and Theo Otis, and Harriette and Charlotte Robinson as Patience and Charity Lovell.
Jude Tindall, who most recently created Father Brown spin-off series The Sister Boniface Mysteries, penned the scripts for the four-part series. BBC Studios is producing. Sue Howells is the series producer, while Paul Gibson and Suri Krishnamma are directing. Will Trotter is the executive producer for BBC Studios. Neil Irvine is the script producer. BBC Studios will handle global sales. “This is Oscar Wilde meets Downton Abbey,” Trotter said. “It’s bursting with gothic horror, romantic comedy and pathos. We are thrilled to be working with BYUtv on such an uplifting drama for the whole family, and we hope it brings much laughter to BYUtv audiences.”
While BYUtv’s Head of Contentn Andra Johnson Duke, who commissioned The Canterville Ghost, added: “The Canterville Ghost brings together the acclaimed storytelling that BBC Studios Productions is well known for with BYUtv’s unique brand of family entertainment. We are honored to partner with BBC Studios Productions to create a not-to-be-missed special event of supernatural proportions filled with humor and heart that each member of the family will enjoy.”