Vanity Fair will feature an all-star cast including Martin Clunes, Michael Palin, Frances de la Tour and Suranne Jones

ITV has released this stunning first image from their upcoming production of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic 19th century novel, Vanity Fair.

It’s been announced that Oldham-born actress Olivia Cooke, star of Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film Ready Player One, will take the lead as scheming heroine Becky Sharp, joining Tom Bateman as the dashing Captain Rawdon Crawley.

Also joining the cast are Martin Clunes as Sir Pitt Crawley, Frances de La Tour as Miss Matilda Crawley, Suranne Jones as Miss Pinkerton and Michael Palin as Thackeray himself. Other top names announced include Claire Skinner and David Fynn as her parents.

Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation follows modern heroine Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Becky’s 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.

Vanity Fair will be shown first on ITV before premiering as an Amazon Prime Exclusive in the US.

ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill 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! So we are thrilled she has agreed to play Becky, in what promises to be a very exciting new drama for ITV next year.”

Filming has started in Budapest, with the shoot then continuing in locations in and around London.