Polanski to bring Dicken's classic to life

Roman Polanski has found the lead for his next film, "Oliver Twist," based on Dickens's classic novel. Polanski searched London's drama schools to find the right actor - one with a convincing Cockney accent - and the search resulted in 30 possible candidates. After a screen test in Prague, where "Oliver Twist" will be shot, 10-year-old Barney Clarkwon the role.

Ben Kingsley will play Fagin. Shooting begins July 12. Polanski, who lives in Paris, said at a press conference there that it was time for "Oliver Twist" to make a comeback. "It is destined for children, particularly my own children," said Polanski, who said he had seen and loved David Lean's 1948 version as a child, reports iht.com

Polanski won a best-director Oscar last year for "The Pianist," which starred Adrien Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist who hid from the Nazis inside a Warsaw ghetto.

Co-producer Robert Benmussa said the crew would be reconstructing the bustling cobbled streets of 19th century London in modern-day Prague.

He added that the sets were "far more elaborate" than those used on Martin Scorsese's epic Gangs of New York, which turned more than a square mile of Italy's Cinecittа into 19th century New York's Five Points.

Jamie Foreman, who stars alongside Clive Owen in this week's I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, plays the Artful Dodger, while The Pianist's Frank Finlay is playing Oliver's kind benefactor Mr Brownlow, inform guardian.co.uk

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