Steven Knight talks his ambitious plans for Charles Dickens adaptations
Producer Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) first announced his Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adaptation back in 2017, and now, speaking with Collider, he opened up about the structure and timeline for his ambitious project for the BBC.
“It’s gonna be three one-hours, it’s largely done in terms of the script. We’re planning to shoot this year and hopefully get it on the screen for Christmas… It’s BBC plus an American element which has not been announced yet.”
It’s not clear what the ‘American element’ would be at this point, though Netflix and the BBC have partnered on a number of projects, including Bodyguard and Luther. Beyond that, Knight has his sets on more than A Christmas Carol, arguably the most well-known of Dickens’ work.
“What I’m planning to do is adapt five Dickens books—A Christmas Carol plus four novels—and do it over a period of six or seven years and have a repertory of actors, and I think we’ll get the best actors in the world, hopefully, to take part because the Dickens characters are so great. And just do like [David]Copperfield and Oliver Twist and Great Expectations and do them in a modern way. Not really in a Taboo way, but sort of like that.”
Knight also indicated he hopes to start filming A Christmas Carol sometime this calendar year. If his three-hour adaptation goes over well with audiences, he will likely move on to his ambitious eight-hour adaptations of the author’s other novels.