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Stretching the definition of a reboot is calling something a “reimagining,” along the lines of Guy Ritchie’s high-octane Sherlock Holmes films. Now that a multitude of literature’s characters have appeared on the big screen in the ways in which they were intended, we get to watch a new generation of those iconic properties dredged back up for more modern adventures.
The Hollywood Reporter reports the latest classic novel to go this route will be Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, retooled as Dodge and Twist, which falls into the “cops ‘n’ robbers” field of storytelling. The idea behind the project comes from Ahmet Zappa, son of the legendary Frank Zappa, who will also be stepping into a producer role through his Monsterfoot Productions.
Dodge and Twist places the story of Oliver Twist and the cunning Jack Dawkins, the Artful Dodger, twenty years after the events of the novel. Twist and Dawkins are on opposite sides of the law, and the overall plot arc will be fueled by a plot to steal the royal Crown Jewels. It seems like British villains are always trying to steal jewels and art, while American thieves just always go for the money. Even in fictional burglary, Europeans keep it classy.
Writing the script will be Cole Haddon, who created NBC’s upcoming Dracula, the first televised trip centered on the Count. With no word on when that show will air, we’ll have to wait and see what Haddon’s skill set consists of.
Speaking of other projects, Zappa last came up with the story for the strange fairy tale The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and is in development for a cinematic voyage to Fraggle Rock, which makes his involvement in a crime drama a head-scratcher. But the project is reportedly a “favorite of the production team and is on the development fast track,” so maybe blindly trusting his vision is the way to go. The pickpocketing Fagin and Dodger were my favorite parts of Oliver Twist, itself not a favorite of my school reading lists, so ramping up the crime aspect could make this exciting.