A new documentary about Oscar Wilde will tell the celebrated writer’s story with a star cast recreating excerpts from his greatest works, including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Freddie Fox, Claire Skinner, Anna Chancellor and James Fleet will all perform in the 80-minute show, “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which will be on BBC Two in the U.K.
Stephen Fry, Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland, and his latest biographer, Matthew Sturgis, will also delve into Wilde’s glittering and scandalous career, and his place in the high society of the day. Viewers will join experts, enthusiasts and biographers as they step inside Wilde’s life and career.
Banijay’s U.K. banner, IWC, is producing. Banijay’s sales arm will take it out internationally.
“The time is really ripe for a re-evaluation of Oscar Wilde’s life and work on television,” said exec producer Franny Moyle. “We felt that the story of Oscar’s trial, imprisonment and the final years have been well-covered. But the story of his fuller life, and the importance and brilliance of the work he created before his fall, deserved fuller attention alongside an account of his tragic demise.”
Mark Bell, commissioner for BBC Arts, added: “Following Wilde’s brilliant rise and using the work itself, the film gives viewers a new perspective and shines a light on both the man and his inspiration.”