New Dad's Army film in development

Tuesday 13th November 2012 @ 4:27pm by Aaron

Dad's Army. Image shows from L to R: Private Godfrey (Arnold Ridley), Lance Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn), Private Walker (James Beck), Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe), Private Frazer (John Laurie), Sergeant Wilson (John Le Mesurier), Private Pike (Ian Lavender). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Thirty-five years to the day since the sitcom broadcast its final episode, details of a new film version of Dad's Army have been revealed.

The hit BBC sitcom, which remains BBC Two's most watched programme every Saturday, originally ran from 1968 to 1977, with Columbia Pictures producing a 1971 movie spin-off detailing the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard's formation.

Series creator and co-writer Jimmy Perry spoke of the plans last month at a meeting of the Dad's Army Appreciation Society, to groans of dread from the audience. He admitted that those behind the new production wished the lead role of Captain Mainwaring - made famous by Arthur Lowe - to be taken by a woman.

For a period during the late 1960s and 1970s, almost every notable British sitcom had a movie adaptation produced, ranging from The Larkins' Inn For Trouble way back in 1960 to Are You Being Served?, two Steptoe & Son films, Nearest And Dearest, and 1980's Rising Damp.

Whilst almost all were commercial successes to a greater or lesser extent at the time, with three On The Buses movies proving to be particularly huge hits, few are now remembered fondly, if at all. However, 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 adaptations of the era.

The news of a new Dad's Army film - with complete new cast - comes at a time when movie remakes of successful British comedies are once again in vogue, following the box office hit The Inbetweeners Movie in 2011. Dad's Army would on the surface seem a rather left-field choice of adaptation to make, but it remains a hugely popular series with Saturday afternoon repeats on BBC Two being the channel's most watched programme of the day, every week.

The proposed film is believed to be at a very early stage of development and few other details are known, but Jimmy Perry revealed that he had negotiated a deal over the show's rights with Ann Croft, the widow of co-writer, director and producer David Croft, who died in September 2011. Perry also admitted that he had no substantial role in penning the script, so could not comment on any possible storyline or setting.

Dad's Army joins sitcoms including Absolutely Fabulous and Miranda in being mooted for film spin-offs, although arguably somewhat less likely to come to fruition.

The news that the Captain Mainwaring role could become female is likely to be the most controversial aspect of the news, and is already being criticised as historically inaccurate. Midge Gillies, author of Waiting For Hitler, a history of British preparations for invasion in 1940, told The Independent newspaper that it was very unlikely the Home Guard saw any female captains: "It sounds like the film-makers are trying to update the series. The humour of it was originally about class and this would confuse things."

Clive Dunn, who played Lance Corporal and local butcher Jack Jones in the series, died last week at the age of 92. He was one of the final surviving members of the cast.

Here's the sitcom's most celebrated moment:


Our Guide to 'Dad's Army'

 

Latest News

Missing At Last The 1948 Show episodes found

Missing At Last The 1948 Show episodes found

Two previously missing episodes of pre-Monty Python sketch series At Last The 1948 Show have been discovered in the personal collection of Sir David Frost.

Kirsty Wark to host Radio 4 sketch show exploring the future

Kirsty Wark to host Radio 4 sketch show exploring the future

Journalist and Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark will host a new Radio 4 sketch show skewering the possibilities of the future.

Still Game Live to get TV broadcast

Still Game Live to get TV broadcast

The hit stage show Still Game Live, based on the BBC Scotland sitcom, will be broadcast on television next month.

Filming starts on new Comedy Central sitcom Brotherhood

Filming starts on new Comedy Central sitcom Brotherhood

Series production has commenced on Brotherhood, Comedy Central UK's first studio audience sitcom. Johnny Flynn and Ben Ashenden star.

Cast announced for David Walliams's Boy In The Dress

Cast announced for David Walliams's Boy In The Dress

Jennifer Saunders, Tim McInnerny, Meera Syal and Steve Spiers are amongst the cast for David Walliams's festive comedy The Boy In The Dress.

Russell Kane to appear in rom-com Scottish Mussel

Russell Kane to appear in rom-com Scottish Mussel

Stand-up comedian Russell Kane will appear alongside Joe Thomas in a new British rom-com film, marking his first screen acting role.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.

Big Comedy Conference

Big Comedy Conference

Men Behaving Badly creator Simon Nye is amongst the latest speakers for The Big Comedy Conference. Details

Win signed Detectorists DVD

Win signed Detectorists DVD

We've got copies of the new Detectorists DVD to give away - they've been signed by Mackenzie Crook. Enter

How Do I Get Up There?

How Do I Get Up There?

The up-and-coming sketch group 'How Do I Get Up There?' talk about their new BBC Scotland pilot. Read

Jenny Bede interview

Jenny Bede interview

Jenny Bede talks to BCG about filming her music-based BBC Three impressions show pilot AAA. Read

Cofilmic Festival workshops

Cofilmic Festival workshops

The Cofilmic Comedy Film Festival 2014 -has announced various cheap panels and workshops for creators. Read

Jason Byrne interview

Jason Byrne interview

Jason Byrne talks about why Father Figure didn't work, his next TV show, and touring his new live show. Read

Teckle Books interview

Teckle Books interview

An interview with the authors behind the comedic novels from new publishing outfit Teckle Books. Read

Mark Gatiss podcast

Mark Gatiss podcast

The League of Gentlemen and Sherlock star Mark Gatiss is Richard Herring's funny guest in this episode. Listen

Kitson and Lee together

Kitson and Lee together

A report from the charity gig in which two comedy heavyweights collided: Daniel Kitson and Stuart Lee. Read