If you can shoehorn zombies into Jane Austen and make the 16th President of the United States a vampire hunter, why can’t you craft a steampunk sequel to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist? The idea of Dodge and Twist has been bouncing around for the last few years, but now it is receiving a major upgrade in the form of a script by none other than Edgar Wright.
According to Film Divider, the filmmaker behind the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy—Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End—is taking a whack at the title. The story is originally the brainchild of Ahmet Zappa, and Wright picks up where screenwriter Cole Hammond (NBC’s Dracula), who had the first crack at the material, and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), who turned in another draft, left off.
Dodge and Twist picks up 20 years after the classic of English literature, and follows the adventures of Oliver Twist and The Artful Dodger in a steampunk world. The two are now at odds with each other, as Oliver is a police officer in this new future, and he has to foil the Dodger’s plan to steal the Crown Jewels. Other characters from the novel will also show up in the action, as well as a young Queen Victoria.
There’s a novel by Tony Lee that is also called Dodge and Twist, and is also a sequel to the Dickens classic, but aside from the name and a general concept, they two appear to have nothing more to do with each other. If there hasn’t already been some accord reached, you have to imagine a lawsuit will be forthcoming.
Wright reportedly turned in his draft in less than a week, which is remarkably quick turnaround, but according to the article, it’s not just a polish job, but a full-blown revision. His script keeps the characterization and key plot pieces in place, but it is apparently drastically different from what came before.
Eddie Redmayne (Jupiter Ascending, The Theory of Everything) is reportedly the person the producers have in mind to play this adult version of Oliver. That’s nothing more than the name at the top of their wish list right now, there have been no formal talks, and this is far, far from official, so make of it what you may. It would be cool, but considering how much new awards hardware the young actor has been collecting, including a SAG Award last night, we’ll have to see how this unfolds.
Though he handled the script, it seems unlikely that Wright will take the helm on Dodge and Twist. He has both Baby Driver and Grasshopper Jungle in the works at the moment, but this will definitely be an interesting project to see come together. Perhaps now with the Edgar Wright-penned screenplay it will start moving forward at a more rapid pace.