Oscar Winner Monahan at Work on New Film Version of Becket

News   Oscar Winner Monahan at Work on New Film Version of Becket Academy Award-winning writer William Monahan ("The Departed") is working on a new film version of Jean Anouilh's Becket, which he will write and direct, according to deadline.com.

Monahan will base his version on the original 1959 play. Pre-production will begin early next year in the U.K. He will produce the motion picture with Smuggler Films' Patrick Milling Smith, John Hart and Brian Carmody. "It's an adaptation, or re-invigoration, of an older play, which has already been a brilliant film," Monahan told deadline.com. "For me, it's a chance to take on one of the greatest stories in our civilization, a double tragedy with two heroes, each of them paradoxical, each of them brilliant, each of them making mistakes that lead to their undoing. The world of the Plantagenets was very rich and we'll open the play up into that world and go into the relationships of the Angevin court more than the 1964 film was able to do. To adapt something is to do a literary personalization of a story, so in that sense I'll be doing a very different Becket."

Becket follows the story of two childhood friends who become deadly adversaries after one is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. The work was first produced in 1959 and later opened on Broadway with Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn starring. The work won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1961 and was adapted for the 1964 film starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.

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