Michael Palin will star as William Makepeace Thackeray in ITV’s upcoming adaptation of Thackeray’s 1848 novel Vanity Fair.
Palin is among a host of household names to join the production, which has begun filming on location in Budapest and in the UK.
ITV previously announced that Olivia Cooke, star of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One, will play Becky Sharp.
Also joining the cast are Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as Sir Pitt Crawley, Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) as Miss Pinkerton and musician and actor Johnny Flynn (Lovesick) as Dobbin.
Gwyneth Hughes (Miss Austen Regrets) has adapted Thackeray’s classic novel for the screen.
Speaking about the cast, executive producer Damien Timmer said, “Vanity Fair is a massive rollercoaster of a story and we’ve assembled an ensemble cast of real range to do it justice... We hope Thackeray would approve –and with Michael Palin playing him, why wouldn’t he?! ”
Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair tells the story of witty heroine Becky Sharp, who navigates English society in a bid to claw her way out of poverty and into the upper classes.
Mammoth Screen, the company behind hit period dramas Poldark and Victoria, are producing the series for ITV and Amazon Studios.