“Oliver!” To Get New Movie Version

Toby Haynes, who directed and exec produced TV drama “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell,” is set to direct a new movie version of Lionel Bart’s musical “Oliver!,” which Cameron Mackintosh, Working Title and Sony Pictures are producing. Here’s what I worry about: the news report says ‘The film, which will be grittier than the original, will shoot on location in and around London.’ Grittier than usual? Does that mean that when Bill Sikes abuses Nancy we will be treated to a close-up of her bloody, broken jaw? My favorite sick part of the show is that just after Nancy gets beaten she sings “As Long As He Needs Me.” Will advocates for victims of domestic violence be complaining? And what about all the pedophile overtones of Fagin? Will they also be more “realistic”? The problem with getting gritty is that you take away the mindless, naive charm about the subject matter that made the original movie, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, so charming. No word yet on who will lead the remake’s cast.

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