BY CHRISTINA WHITE
ONE OF Evelyn Waugh's bestloved novels is to be turned into a film, dispelling the imagery of a celebrated television adaptation from the 1980s.
Sir John Mortimer's adaptation of Brideshead Revisited in 1981 focused heavily on the dreaming spires of Sebastian Flyte's Oxford. It made stars of Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews, together with his ubiquitous teddybear, and brought new found fame to Castle Howard in Yorkshire, the location for Brideshead.
But the new screenwriter has already indicated he will offer a grittier and more religious interpretation of Waugh's classic. Brideshead Revisited will be tackled by Andrew Davies the sometime controversial screenwriter responsible for Pride and Prejudice for the British Broadcasting Corporation and the current television adaptations of Daniel Deronda and Dr Zhivago.
Mr Davies said he thought the ITV production in 1981 was "done very well" but he wanted to concentrate on the religiosity of Brideshead.
"I'm more interested in the religious side of the boolc..the more the book goes on the more interesting it becomes. It essentially begs the question, Is God more important than love?' It's a Catholic novel."
The film will be made by the British production company Ecorse Films responsible for Mrs Brown, the story of Queen Victoria and her relationship with her servant John Brown. Douglas Rae who heads Ecorse said there was room for another Brideshead.
"I think that more than 20 years later there's room fora film for a new generation of people who never saw the TV drama and for that older generation who did watch it but would welcome a different version."
A spokeswoman said the film was in the "very early stages of development" and there were no roles cast yet.