ITV Commissions Seven Part Drama Vanity Fair from Mammoth Screen, Starring Olivia Cooke

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.

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.

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.

Poly Hill , Head of Drama, ITV