A film adaption of Brideshead Revisited, based on Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 classic Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder will be released on July 25, 2008. Brideshead Revisited is directed by Julian Jarrold, and will star Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, Matthew Goode and Ben Whishaw.
The plot of Brideshead Revisited revolves around Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode) who makes friends with the rich aristocrat Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw), in rather unpleasant circumstances. On Flyte’s invitation, Ryder visits the Flyte family’s family seat Brideshead castle. Here, Ryder meets the formidable, exceedingly devout Catholic Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson), Sebastian’s mother, and Julia Flyte (Hayley Atwell), Sebastian sister.
Ryder loses touch with the Flyte family after Sebastian drifts away from the family largely due Lady Marchmain’s rigid Catholic views and tendencies towards conversion and enforcement of Catholic tenets through subtle manipulation.
Later, when Ryder, who is now an army officer, is posted at Brideshead, he gets into a relationship with Julia who is now in an unhappy marriage.
In the book, Catholicism is a running thread. The behavior of each character in the book is governed by Catholicism, either explicitly or indirectly, and the concept of free will and the Lord shepherding his flock home.
Brideshead Revisited is said to deviate from the book and focus more on the relationship between Julia and Ryder, which may be a pity, because the inherent conflicts in Catholicism and its subtle tyrannies would have been interesting to watch.
Brideshead Revisited will be produced and distributed by Warner Independent and Miramax Films.
In 1981, Brideshead Revisited was adapted for a TV series of the same, starring Jeremy Irons as Charles Ryder, Anthony Andrews as Sebastian Flyte, Laurence Olivier as Lord Marchmain, Claire Bloom as Lady Marchmain, and Diana Quick as Lady Julia Flyte. The series was extremely popular and critically acclaimed.