Bill Nighy to star as Sergeant Wilson in new Dad’s Army film
A new film version of Dad’s Army looks set to go ahead.
Based on the classic BBC sitcom about the bumbling members of a Home Guard unit on England’s south coast during the Second World War, the new project will star Toby Jones and Bill Nighy (pictured).
Jones, who played Alfred Hitchcock in the 2012 TV drama The Girl, will take on the role of Captain Mainwaring, the self-important leader of the unit, portrayed by Arthur Lowe in the classic 1968 to1977 BBC sitcom.
Meanwhile, Love Actually star Bill Nighy will take on the role of the calm, suave Sergeant Wilson, the character previously played by John Le Mesurier.
A Dad’s Army film already exists. The 1971 movie, written by creators Jimmy Perry and David Croft, follows the platoon from their humble beginnings into their formation as a “formidable” fighting unit. Whilst not as popular as the series on which it was based, the Dad’s Army movie is widely regarded as one of the better sitcom-to-film adaptations of the era.
When news of the idea to make a new film first emerged in November 2012, it was met with disdain from fans. When Jimmy Perry revealed plans at a meeting of the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society, the news was met with “groans of dread” from the audience. At the time it was suggested the role of Captain Mainwaring may be taken by a woman, but this now appears to be unfounded.
The new film project has come about after Jimmy Perry has negotiated a deal over the show’s rights with Ann Croft, the widow of his writing partner David Croft, who died in September 2011.
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