Following up on the successful 2008 re-do of Hitchcock’s 1935 film, The 39 Steps, which starred Rupert Penry-Jones, Lydia Leonard and David Haig, the BBC has announced plans to tackle Hitchcock’s 1939 classic, The Lady Vanishes. Targeted for Christmas release on BBC One, the film is set to begin filming in Budapest at the end of August and will star Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes, Upstairs Downstairs), Stephanie Cole (Waiting for God, Coronation Street, Doc Martin) and Julian Rhind-Tutt (The Hour, Green Wing).
As is usually the case with the brilliant drama that comes out of the UK, you will recognize a lot of names and faces in the ensemble cast. In addition to the above, the Fiona Seres-adapted script will also star Gemma Jones (Spooks) as Rose Flood-Porter, Selina Cadell (Doc Martin) as Miss Froy, Tuppence Middleton (Spies of Warsaw) as Iris and Tom Hughes (Silk) as traveler Max Hare. Alex Jennings (Whitechapel), Sandy McDade (Lark Rise To Candleford), Pip Torrens (Pride and Prejudice) Emerald Fennell (Any Human Heart), Charles Aitken (Bonkers) and Daisy Lewis (Doctor Who) round out an incredible collection of talent.
Finding it difficult to curb her excitement, Kate Harwood, the BBC’s head of series and serials, commented: “Fiona’s adaptation of The Wheel Spins deftly weaves together the intriguing stories of a psychologically complex group of characters – with the mysterious disappearance of Miss Froy on a packed train – played out against the tense backdrop of the Balkans in the 1930s. adding, I am delighted with the incredible cast and crew we have assembled for the project. The Lady Vanishes will be a thrilling treat for BBC One audiences this Christmas.”
Stateside, one can only hope that this finds its way to the Masterpiece line-up on PBS as soon as possible. Until then, here’s the original 1939 Hitchcock trailer for The Lady Vanishes to pass the time.