Tom Hollander has wowed audiences in recent dramas such as The Night Manager and Taboo – but now he is looking for an altogether different challenge. RadioTimes.com can reveal he wants to play Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Hollander’s production company Bandstand Productions has enlisted Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace screenwriter Andrew Davies to develop the adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic 1831 novel, ITV has confirmed.
Davies cast Hollander as Dylan Thomas in his 2014 biopic A Poet in New York, and it was during the making of that BBC drama that the idea first took flight.
Hugo’s story, which has been captured on film and TV a number of times, is set in 1482 and revolves around the love between hunchback Quasimodo, the Cathedral’s half-blind and deaf bell-ringer, and a beautiful woman called Esmerelda. Esmerelda is lusted after by a number of the story’s key villains including the main antagonist Frollo, Archdeacon of Notre Dame. She shows kindness to Quasimodo when he is punished and his ill-fated love for her drives the story.
According to sources the production is seeking potential US and French co-production partners, but all concerned are said to be “optimistic” it will happen, RadioTimes.com understands.
The story became a classic 1939 film starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo (above) as well as a 1956 French film starring Anthony Quinn and Gina Lollobrigida. It was also re-told by Disney in a 1996 animation.