‘Bates Motel’ star to lead cast of ITV’s new ‘Vanity Fair’ adaptation

It has been announced that Olivia Cooke will star as heroine Becky Sharp in ITV’s upcoming Vanity Fair mini-series.

Based on English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel, the new seven-part drama series is written by Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel, Miss Austen Regrets) and will be produced by Mammoth Screen, the makers of Endeavour and Poldark, with Amazon Studios.

Vanity Fair follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars.

Olivia Cooke is best known for her role as Emma Decody in drama-thriller television series Bates Motel, which concluded on A&E earlier this year after five seasons.

The 23-year-old English actress recently finished filming Steven Spielberg’s new movie Ready Player One.

ITV Head of Drama, Polly Hill commented: “The question was always who would be our perfect Becky Sharp and that is undoubtedly Olivia Cooke! So we are thrilled she has agreed to play Becky, in what promises to be a very exciting new drama for ITV next year.”

Executive producer Damien Timmer added: “We’re so proud to be working with ITV and Amazon on this most glorious of stories – the combination of Olivia Cooke, Gwyneth Hughes and Thackeray will be an irresistible one, and we look forward to watching Becky Sharp conquer the 21st century!”

The official synopsis reads: “Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation of Thackeray’s literary classic is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing”, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.”

Vanity Fair will begin filming in London, England and Budapest, Hungary in September. The series is expected to air in 2018.