Director Oliver Parker (“St. Trinians,” “The Importance Of Being Earnest,” “An Ideal Husband”) is planning on adapting his third Oscar Wilde penned story reports Teletext.
This time it’s “The Picture Of Dorian Gray”, Wilde’s only published novel of a young man who wishes that his youth and beauty will not fade due to either age or indulgence. His wish comes true when a portrait of him begins to deteriorate whilst he stays young and beautiful.
As he spends nearly two decades exploring every vice under the sun, he begins to question his actions and conscience (including the murder of the portrait’s artists). In an attempt to come clean he stabs the now decrepit figure in the portrait, only for the police to arrive soon after and find the painting looking exactly as it did originally, whilst Gray’s time and abuse-ravaged body lies dead on the floor.
Parker plans to play up the horror-thriller angle of the story and hopes to have his “St. Trinian’s” star Russell Brand involved. No word on how he plans to handle the story’s homoeroticism which is the main reason it became such a highly controversial work at its time of publication in 1890-1891.
Wilde’s story has been adapted many times before, most famously in 1945. Josh Duhamel and David Gallagher have played Dorian in recent adaptations of the work in 2002 and 2006 respectively, whilst Stuart Townsend portrayed the character in Fox’s big budget “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”.