Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray's classic novel, has been transformed into a seven-part drama featuring Olivia Cooke for ITV and Amazon.

Vanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray which was first published in 1848. Now, ITV and Amazon are partnering to transform the literary classic into a seven-part drama which they hope will connect with modern audiences.

 

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The drama will star Olivia Cooke as the main heroine, Becky Sharp. The 23-year-old actress has previously featured in the Dying Girl and Bates Motel and has a role in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One.

Becky is desperate to climb out of poverty and into the heights of English society. Her journey will be filled with ‘villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing’. It will see her make it to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo.

Gwyneth Hughes adapted Vanity Fair for the new production. She has previously written Dark Angel and The Girl. Gwyneth set the drama against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.

ITV and Amazon have partnered to make the drama, which is being produced by Mammoth Screen – the producers behind the much-loved series Poldark and Victoria.

Polly Hilly, head of ITV drama, said: “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!”

Polly added: “We are thrilled she has agreed to play Becky, in what promises to be a very exciting new drama for ITV next year.”

Damien Timmer, joint managing director of Mammoth Studios, said: “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!”

When is Vanity Fair on ITV?

Filming for Vanity Fair will commence on location in London from September this year. There will also be some scenes shot in Budapest. The drama will screen next year.