It’s probably just coincidental, in fact, we’re almost entirely sure it is, but just a few weeks after Netflix‘s remake of the BBC‘s “House of Cards” debuted, the original’s writer, Andrew Davies, has scored one of the biggest jobs in British television. And we mean biggest in its literal sense, because Davies has been tapped to adapt Leo Tolstoy‘s not inconsiderable tome “War and Peace” into a six-part miniseries.
Davies is a fairly prolific writer on British television. As well as “House of Cards” back in 1990, he’s adaptated the likes of “Pride and Prejudice” (the Colin Firth version, no less), “Emma” (starring Kate Beckinsale),”Dr. Zhivago” (with Keira Knightley and Sam Neill), “Bleak House” (starring Gillian Anderson), and most recently wrote “Mr. Selfridge” which stars Jeremy Piven as the department store founder which has proved popular enough to be renewed for a second season. That’s not to ignore his big-screen credits too though, which include “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “Brideshead Revisited,” and, erm, “The Three Musketeers” (yes, the Paul W.S. Anderson one).
We mention the star names who Davies has worked with before as it looks like Davies is set to go in a different direction on this project, with Deadline reporting that he’s hoping to cast an unknown in the lead role of Natasha, with more recognisable faces cast as the male leads, Andrei and Pierre. The project is being produced by BBC Cymru Wales (the branch of the Beeb most notably responsible for “Doctor Who“), with Deadline wisely speculating that a U.S. partner (HBO, perhaps?) will likely soon also come on board. Davies called the book “a thrilling, funny and heartbreaking story of love, war and family life,” to which we’d add that it’s also commonly viewed as a big, intimidating text. Let’s hope Davies can get to grips with it and make it as thrilling, funny and heartbreaking on our television screens when it hits in 2015.