Promised later this year, the BBC have released cast photos for their Jules Verne adaptation.
Just in case there’s anyone out there unfamiliar with the tale, the story follows the adventures of Phileas Fogg (David Tennant) and his manservant Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma) as they attempt to circumnavigate the globe to win a wager.
While the tale has been told on film a number of times, in the 50’s with David Niven and in 2004 with Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan, this version promises some changes – not least by flipping the gender of one of the characters.
This is the production that David Tennant had begun in 2020 as the pandemic hit, shutting down television production, and was the cause of his lengthy hair throughout lockdown.
French actor Ibrahim Koma. plays Phileas Fogg’s manservant Passepartout, who is described as ‘mercurial’ in the press release.
Rounding out the trio of principal cast members is Leonie Benesch as aspiring journalist Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue, who reports on Fogg’s story. In the original, Fix was a male and a police inspector.
This version of Verne’s classic tale is a thoroughly international production, with location filming taking place in Cape Town and Romania. It will be told across eight 60-minute episodes. The writers include Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes, The Living And The Dead) and Caleb Ranson (Child Of Mine, Heartless).
Around the World in 80 Days is a Slim Film + Television and Federation co-production for the European Alliance formed by France Télévisions, ZDF and RAI, with additional co-production partners, Masterpiece PBS (U.S), Peu Communications (South Africa), Be-Films and RTBF (Belgium), Daro Film Distribution (associate producer).
While there are no dates yet, when the show does arrive it will be available in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer – and there will be camels!