ITV commissions Vanity Fair adaptation

ITV commissions Vanity Fair adaptation

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Olivia Cooke will star as heroine Becky Sharpe in Vanity Fair (Credit: ITV)
Olivia Cooke will star as heroine Becky Sharpe in Vanity Fair (Credit: ITV)

A new adaptation of William Makepiece Thackeray’s Vanity Fair has been commissioned by ITV.

Vanity Fair tells the story of Becky Sharpe, a young woman attempting to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society.

Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Becky climbs all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.

Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) will play Thackeray’s heroine Becky Sharpe.

The seven-part adaptation is written by Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel, Miss Austen Regrets) and is produced by Mammoth Screen, the company behind Poldark and Victoria. ITV has teamed up with Amazon Studios to make the production.

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who commissioned the series said Vanity Fair felt like the “perfect classic” to adapt for ITV.

She added: “Gwyneth Hughes’ stunning scripts bring the novel to life in a way that will really connect with a modern audience.”

This is not the first time Thackeray’s novel has been adapted for television. The BBC has broadcast three versions of the story, most recently in 1998 starring Natasha Little as Becky Sharp and written by Andrew Davies. In 2004, Reece Witherspoon starred in a film adaptation by Julian Fellowes, Matthew Faulk and Mark Skeet.

Filming of the new series will begin on location in London in September, with additional shooting taking place in Budapest.

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Pippa Shawley

Digital Editor

Pippa is the Royal Television Society’s digital editor, producing content for the RTS website and membership magazine, Television.

Email Address: 
pshawley@rts.org.uk

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A new adaptation of William Makepiece Thackeray’s Vanity Fair has been commissioned by ITV.