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ITV commissions seven part drama Vanity Fair starring Olivia Cooke

Published: Wed 28 Jun 2017

ITV commissions seven part drama Vanity Fair starring Olivia Cooke
 
ITV commissions seven part drama Vanity Fair from Mammoth Screen, starring Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp
 
“A world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having.”
 
A new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s, Vanity Fair, has been commissioned as a seven-part drama for ITV by the broadcaster’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill.
 
Written by Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel, The Girl, Miss Austen Regrets) and produced by leading production company Mammoth Screen, Vanity Fair is being made with Amazon Studios.
 
Olivia Cooke - the 23 year old Oldham-born actress and star of Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film Ready Player One - plays Thackeray’s timeless heroine Becky Sharp. 
 
Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation of Thackeray’s literary classic is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows Becky 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 as she goes.
 
Commented Polly Hill:
 
“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. 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.”
 
Commented Damien Timmer:
 
"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!"
 
Vanity Fair will be produced by  Julia Stannard (War & Peace, The Great Train Robbery, United) with James Strong (Liar, Broadchurch, United) directing.  Mammoth Screen’s Managing Director Damien Timmer executive produces the series with Gwyneth Hughes, James Strong and Tom Mullens (Endeavour, Fearless, Poldark). 
 
Vanity Fair will be filmed on location in and around London, with additional shooting in Budapest, from September 2017.
 
ITV Studios GE will be responsible for international distribution of the series.