The big-screen adaptation of the classic BBC wartime comedy, Dad’s Army, is drawing some of the biggest names (outside of Benedict Cumberbatch) together as they begin to assemble the cast. The feature film treatment of the Jimmy Perry, David Croft iconic British comedy has landed one of the greats with the announcement that Bill Nighy, who will soon been seen in America in the next two chapters of the Worricker trilogy on PBS’ Masterpiece series, as upper-class bank employee turned officer in the British Home Guard, The Honourable Sergeant Arthur Wilson. As I’ve always been one to say that I would listen to Nighy read the phone book, I cannot wait to hear him utter the phrase, “Do you think that’s wise, Sir?”.
In other casting news, Toby Jones (The Hunger Games, Harry Potter) will take on the role of the self-appointed leader of the town’s contingent of Local Defence Volunteers, Captain Mainwaring, played brilliantly in the original series by Arthur Lowe with another Harry Potter alum, Michael Gambon, putting on the Home Guard uniform to star as Private Charles Godfrey, the Home Guard’s medical orderly. With a primary purpose of not being taken too seriously and just being yelled at a lot, Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners) stars as Pike with Bill Paterson (Doctor Who) taking on the doom and gloom role of Scottish Private James Frazer. Danny Mays, whom I will never forget from his dual role as Discipline and Complaints Officer, DCI Jim Keats, and The Devil in the final series of Ashes to Ashes, will star as the lovable but shifty Private Joe Walker, who will be responsible for getting supplies to be rationed.
If that wasn’t enough to get you in line to buy tickets, in as-yet-to-be-named roles, Sarah Lancashire will bring her brilliant work in Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax) to the film along with Sherlock co-creator/writer, Mark Gatiss, Gavin & Stacey star, Alison Steadman, and Annette Crosbie, who can most recently be seen alongside David Tennant and Rosamund Pike in What We Did on Our Holiday. Catherine Zeta-Jones will attempt to keep the Home Guard in check as journalist Rose Winters.
While this won’t be the first attempt at bringing the classic late 60’s, early 70’s comedy to the big-screen, it will certainly be one worth checking out, if nothing else for this incredible ensemble cast.