BBC One announced the commission of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot at the Edinburgh TV Festival, starring Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman. The 90-min film will be directed by Emmy award winner Dearbhla Walsh (Little Dorrit, The Tudors)
Richard Curtis (About Time, Love Actually) who recently decided to no longer direct, has teamed up with his Vicar of Dibley co-writer Paul Mayhew-Archer for the adaptation of Esio Trot, by much-loved and still immensely popular children’s author Roald Dahl.
Starring Oscar winners Dame Judi Dench (Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Dustin Hoffman ( Luck, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Hook).
Mr Hoppy, played by Dustin Hoffman, is a retired bachelor, who harbours a secret passion for his neighbour, the lovely Mrs Silver, Dame Judi Dench. Unfortunately she lavishes all her affection on another… Alfie, her pet tortoise. Mr Hoppy yearns to talk to Mrs Silver, but tongue-tied and shy, his attempts always end in disaster. Mrs Silver’s greatest wish is for her tortoise Alfie to grow a little bigger. All seems lost for Mr Hoppy until he has the brightest, most devious of ideas. Will Mr Hoppy’s wildly ingenious plot win the love of his lady?
Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One, says:
“It’s an honour to have Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman starring in this wonderful new adaptation. It’s absolutely stellar casting for one of the nation’s favourite children’s classics.”
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says:
“An amazing cast and production team have come together to dramatise Roald Dahl’s wonderful, evergreen story. This film is a class act with a roll call of talent that only the BBC could assemble.”
Producer Hilary Bevan Jones (The Girl in the Cafe) says:
“To bring together two of the world’s favourite actors in Dame Judi and Dustin is a dream come true. Richard and Paul have captured the magic of Roald Dahl’s wonderful tale and I am thrilled that Dearbhla is to direct it.”
Filming will begin next Spring (2014)