Oliver Twist to turn crime fighter in Hollywood reinvention

Oliver Twist

Hollywood is planning an adventure film set in the world of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, in which the angelic orphan re-encounters the Artful Dodger 20 years later.

Titled Dodge and Twist, studio Sony's revisionist take follows the same premise as Tony Lee's 2011 novel of the same name, though it will take a more comedic approach and is based on an original screenplay by Cole Haddon, writer of the forthcoming US TV series Dracula. The film will portray the two characters as rivals on opposite sides of the law in Victorian London during an episode in which someone tries to steal the crown jewels. The script is based on an original idea by producer Ahmet Zappa, son of rock legend Frank, which is said to be influenced by the success of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films.

Dickens' Oliver Twist, published in 1838, is the story of a young orphan who escapes the horrors of the workhouse for an equally troubled existence among the street urchins of London. It has been filmed numerous times, notably by David Lean (1948), Carol Reed (1968, as the musical Oliver!) and Roman Polanski (2005).

Reimaginings of literary or historical characters remain popular in Hollywood, with Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful due to follow Tim Burton's blockbuster 2010 fantasy pseudo-sequel Alice in Wonderland into cinemas in March. As well as the Sherlock Holmes films, in which Robert Downey Jr portrays a pugilistic version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's sleuth, the past year has seen wildly revisionist films such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters hitting the big screen.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 12th February 2013 14.12 Europe/London

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