In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.
Charles Dickens’ original novel, the controversial Alec Guinness film, the musical, the little-seen Roman Polanski film… do we need another version of Oliver Twist?
Published in serial form between 1837 and 1839, Oliver is the story of an innocent, mistreated orphan who runs away to London, joins a gang of child thieves, and is briefly sucked into a life of petty crime. One day Oliver tries to rob a wealthy and benevolent gentleman, Mr. Brownlow. Unbeknownst to Oliver, Brownlow was engaged to his aunt before she died. Brownlow sees the good in Oliver (and an uncanny resemblance to his deceased finance’s deceased sister-in-law) and decides to take him in.
Dickens wrote Oliver Twist in protest of a new “Poor Law.” Introduced in 1834, the law limited government assistance to the poor to workhouses, where impoverished individuals could receive shelter and meager amounts of food in exchange for unpaid (slave) labor. Believing harsh conditions would discourage poverty and that poverty was, on some level, a character flaw, workhouses were not pleasant environments.
Sony is teaming up with screenwriter Cole Haddan, and producers Matt Tolmach and Ahmet Zappa, on a new film about everyone’s favorite non-Annie orphan. Entitled Dodge and Twist, the film will be set 20 years after Dickens’ story ends, when Oliver is in his early 30s. The intrigue: a high-stakes jewelry heist involving Oliver and one of his former child-gang friend, Jack “the Artful Dodger” Dawkins.
No word on whether or not Dodge and Twist will involve musical numbers. Here’s hoping it will not.
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