Sky today announced a new co-production which will be a new Twist on Oliver Twist that’s will be titled Twist and will star two-time Academy Award winner, Sir Michael Caine, Lena Headey (The Flood), singer and full time tabloid fodder Rita Ora, actor and author David Walliams, Franz Drameh, Sophie Simnett, and newcomer Raff Law (Jude’s son) in the title role of Twist. The film will be available simultaneously on Sky Cinema and cinema.
The new Twist is a modern interpretation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist in which Oliver is reinvented as a streetwise artist living on the streets of modern-day London. A chance encounter with a gang of grifters led by the charismatic Dodge (Ora) sees Twist (Law) caught up in a high stakes heist to steal a priceless painting for master thief, Fagin (Caine), and his psychopathic business partner, Sikes (Headey). Drameh will play Batesey, Simnett will play Red and Walliams will play Losberne.
Sir Michael Caine said: “Fagin is such an infamous character, it’s going to be great fun playing him. I’m really looking forward to working with Lena, Raff and the rest of the cast in London when we start shooting.” Lena Headey commented: “I couldn’t be more excited to take on the iconic character of Sikes from Oliver Twist. Flipping roles without apology or character softening is a brilliant way to breathe new life into established materials and bring it to new audiences.”
Twist is Directed by Martin Owen (Killers Anonymous) and the new Twist is written by John Wrathall with additional writing by Sally Collett and Martin Owen. Producers are Matt Williams, Ben Grass, Jason Maza & Noel Clarke (10×10, Brotherhood). The film goes into production in London this autumn.
The last version of Oliver Twist we were involved in was many years ago in the school production where our drama teacher, Mr Gadd, decided to have Fagin’s gang dressed as Thai lady boys. For some reason after that Mr Gadd stopped working at the school.