Entertainment & Arts

Hugh Bonneville to play Roald Dahl in new film

Hugh Bonneville and Roald Dahl Image copyright Getty Images

Hugh Bonneville is to play Roald Dahl in an upcoming biopic about the author and his wife.

The currently untitled film will be set in the 1960s and focus on Dahl's marriage to actress Patricia Neal.

"I can't imagine anyone better to give the ambivalent nature of Roald Dahl's life," the film's producer Elliot Jenkins said.

"He was such a man of wounded parts below his polished veneer of self-confidence."

The 1960s were a time when Dahl struggled to write some of his most famous works, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The same decade saw Neal starring in Hud, a role which saw her win an Oscar for best actress.

The biopic has been described as being in the same vein as the Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson film Saving Mr Banks - the story of Walt Disney trying to persuade PL Travers to let him make a film out of her novel Mary Poppins.

The role of Neal has yet to be cast.

Image caption Bonneville will play Merlin in the new Thomas movie

In other Bonneville casting news, it has also been announced he will star in the new Thomas & Friends film Journey Beyond Sodor.

The actor will voice a new engine called Merlin who believes he has the power of invisibility.

He follows in the footsteps of Ringo Starr, Eddie Redmayne, Alec Baldwin and Olivia Colman who have also previously featured in Thomas & Friends.

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