Hugh Bonneville will play Roald Dahl in a movie biopic[Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images]
Dahl famously wrote the children’s stories The Twits, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and Matilda and the film will be set during the 1960s.
It will focus on his marriage to the Oscar-winning actress, Patricia Neal, and is said to share similarities to Emma Thompson’s Saving Mr Banks, and Johnny Depp’s Finding Neverland.
The film’s producer, Elliot Jenkins, said Hugh was the perfect choice to play the famous author.
Roald Dahl wrote the books The Twits and Matilda[CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images]
“I can’t imagine anyone better to give the ambivalent nature of Roald Dahl’s life,” Jenkins told Variety. “He was such a man of wounded parts below his polished veneer of self-confidence.”
The screenplay is based on Stephen Michael Shearer’s biography of Neal, An Unquiet Life, and will, according to producer Pascal Degove, “tracks the personal triumphs and tragedies behind the marriage of two globally known superstars.”
“John [Hay] and David [Logan’s] excellent script is an audience-pleasing portrayal of Roald and Patricia’s touching love story, backgrounded by the cinematic sweep of the swinging ’60s.”
Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal were married for 30 years[ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images]
Patricia famously appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Day the Earth Stood Still and won her Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Actress in 1963 for her role as Alma Brown in Hud opposite Paul Newman.
She and Dahl split in 1983 after 30 years of marriage.
The production is still looking for an actress to play the American star and according to the producers they are looking to cast other celebrity rles including Newman.
Hugh has also been cast as a new engine, Merlin, in the Thomas & Friends movie Journey Beyond Sodor, which is set for release in 70 countries in cinemas and TV screens from this summer.
Hugh Bonneville pictured in the sound booth recording the voice of the engine Merlin who he stars as in the new movie Thomas & Friends: Journey Beyond Sodor [Thomas & Friends]
“I am delighted to be involved in the latest Thomas & Friends movie,” the Downton Abbey star said. “Like so many others I enjoyed the books when I was young, so it’s a real honor to be voicing a new character, Merlin.
“To play an engine in one of Thomas’s adventures is a big thrill for a little boy in a grown-up body! One of the keys to Thomas’s endurance is that young children, who are just beginning to explore their imaginations through story telling, are drawn into a world they feel they can inhabit and understand.
“At their heart these are tales of friendship, adventure and lessons learned from mistakes made, all while trying to keep on the railway tracks.”
Thomas & Friends: Journey Beyond Sodor is in cinemas on August 25