Shooting has begun on ITV and Amazon Studios’ new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic 1848 novel Vanity Fair. The seven-part drama stars Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp and Tom Bateman (Murder On The Orient Express) as Captain Rawdon Crawley. Doctor Foster‘s Suranne Jones has now boarded as Miss Pinkerton with Michael Palin set to play Thackeray himself. ITV Studios’ Mammoth Screen (Poldark, Victoria) is producing. Check out a first-look image of Cooke and Bateman above.
Jones is currently appearing in the second season of BBC One hit Doctor Foster and will next year shoot Gentleman Jack, HBO and BBC One’s eight-episode drama series from Happy Valley‘s Sally Wainwright.
Written by Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel, The Girl), the Vanity Fair TV transfer is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows Sharp 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 along the way.
There have been several screen adaptations of the Thackeray novel, including the 2004 feature with Reese Witherspoon as Becky, and a 1998 BBC version.
Also joining the cast are musician and actor Johnny Fynn (Genius) as Dobbin; Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as Sir Pitt Crawley; Frances de La Tour (Harry Potter) as Miss Matilda Crawley; Claudia Jessie (Line Of Duty) as Becky’s confidante Amelia Sedley; Simon Russell Beale and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) as her parents; and David Flynn (School Of Rock) as her brother Joss. Charlie Rowe (Salvation) was previously set as George Osborne.
Vanity Fair will debut on ITV next year ahead of its U.S. premiere as an Amazon Prime Exclusive. It’s produced by Julia Stannard (War And Peace) with James Strong (Liar, Broadchurch) directing.
Mammoth Screen’s Managing Director Damien Timmer executive produces with Hughes, Strong and Tom Mullens. Victoria Fea exec produces for ITV. Filming has kicked off in Budapest with production then moving to locations in and around London. ITV Studios Global Entertainment is handling international rights.