The first-look of ITV and Amazon’s adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair features Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp, with her foot firmly planted on a globe. Produced by Mammoth Screen and written by Gwyneth Hughes, the seven-part series will be aired later this year.
The classic 1848 novel chronicles the life of Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley during and after the Napoleonic Wars (1803-815), a series of conflicts between France and alliances of European powers led by Britain. The two women are markedly different – while Becky is clever and brash, Emmy is sweet, good-natured and naive.
There have been several film adaptations of the novel, beginning with the silent film era. The most recent adaptation, directed by Mira Nair in 2004, features Reese Weatherspoon as Becky. BBC has produced four television versions of the novel: in 1956, 1967, 1987 and 1998.
ITV Drama head Polly Hill told Variety last year that Vanity Fair is the “perfect classic” to adapt. “Gwyneth Hughes’s stunning scripts bring the novel to life in a way that will really connect with a modern audience,” she said. “ The question was always who would be out perfect Becky Sharp and that is undoubtedly Olivie Cooke.”
Cooke was last seen in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi adventure Ready Player One (2018).