Norfolk director revisits Brideshead

He is already regarded as Britain's rising star of major movie-making.And now Norfolk's Julian Jarrold has reached another high in his illustrious career, directing some of our best homegrown talent in a star-studded remake of Brideshead Revisited.

He is already regarded as Britain's rising star of major movie-making.

And now Norfolk's Julian Jarrold has reached another high in his illustrious career, directing some of our best homegrown talent in a star-studded remake of Brideshead Revisited.

Oscar winner Emma Thompson and veteran actor Michael Gambon - best known to younger cinema-goers for his Harry Potter role - head up an all-Brit cast for a lavish adaptation of the Evelyn Waugh novel.

Mr Jarrold, whose family own the Norwich department store, has been twice nominated for Baftas for his TV work, a British Independent Film Award two years ago for his quirky Brit flick Kinky Boots and most recently directed Becoming Jane, the tale of Jane Austen's formative years that has proved a hit at the box office this spring

He was educated at Gresham's School in Holt and has a home in Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich.

In his new film, Thompson will become the matriarch of the dysfunctional Catholic family, the Marchmains, while Gambon plays her estranged husband.

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The story unfolds as a recollection by Charles Ryder - a role made famous by Jeremy Irons in the landmark Granada TV drama in 1981 - who was stationed at Brideshead Castle during the second world war.

He remembers his involvement with the aristocratic Marchmain's and his Oxford-born friendship with their eccentric son, Sebastian and daughter, Julia.

Relative newcomer Matthew Goode will take on Charles, while Ben Winshaw - who starred in the adaptation of the Patrick Suskind novel, Perfume, last year - will play Sebastian.

Filming is due to begin this summer at Castle Howard in Yorkshire, London, Venice and Morocco.

It is understood that Jeremy Irons was initially approached to return to the drama that launched him more than 25 years ago and take on Gambon's role.

But Irons turned it down, claiming that he could not top the Emmy-award winning performance by Laurence Olivier in the eighties TV drama and felt he was “far too young and fit” to play an ageing, dying Lord.

Nevertheless, he believes the film will be a hit without him.

Mr Jarrold began working behind the camera on the set of Coronation Street and got his big break in 1994 with an award-winning episode of Cracker, before going on to direct a BBC adaptations of Great Expectations and Zadie Smith's White Teeth.