Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, Suspiria) is developing a limited series adaptation of the 1945 Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead Revisited for the BBC, Deadline reports. The announcement comes on the heels of the finale of Guadagnino’s first television outing, the HBO Max drama We Are Who We Are. BBC Three secured the U.K. distribution rights to We Are Who We Are in August, as reported by Deadline.
Guadagnino initially made a name for himself in the film world. In an interview with The Observer, he explained that his production days on We Are Who We Are bore the atmosphere of an extended film shoot: “It was 94 days of shooting, instead of the usual 50. But for me, it was like making my own long, long, long shooting movie. But I don’t think there was much of a difference. Maybe one day I’ll actually do TV and jump onto a project, doing one episode and leaving the set for two weeks and that’s it.” Time also played a role in Guadagnino’s Rolling Stone interview as he discussed what he enjoyed about making television: “That’s a great way to be encouraged by television, to understand time. That’s what I love about this medium right now.”
The first Brideshead Revisited adaptation came in the form of a 1981 ITV miniseries directed by Charles Sturridge (The Scapegoat, Shackleton) and Michael Lindsay-Hogg (The Object of Beauty, Let It Be). The show received two Golden Globes (including Best Miniseries), won seven BAFTAs and gave Sir Laurence Olivier (Hamlet, Sleuth) the fourth of his five Emmy wins. It remains one of the most well known limited series in the U.K. and was accordingly featured heavily in the 2008 ITV docuseries The Story of the Costume Drama.
Although ITV lays claim to the original TV interpretation of Brideshead Revisited, BBC has the privilege of being the first network to produce a serialized version of a Waugh novel, according to BFI Screen Online. In 1967, one year after the author’s death, BBC Two aired a three-part adaptation of Waugh’s World War II trilogy Sword of Honour, directed by Donald McWhinnie (Love in a Cold Climate). The network’s latest Waugh adaptation, Decline and Fall, aired in the spring of 2017 and is available to watch through Acorn TV.