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BBC to 'reimagine' The Thirty-nine Steps

Xmas fodder for the Jason Bourne generation

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The BBC will begin filming next month on a "reimagined" version of John Buchan's 1915 novel The Thirty-nine Steps - casting Spooks thesp Rupert Penry-Jones as Richard Hannay, the Guardian reports.

Described as a centrepiece of Auntie's Xmas schedule, the feature-length adaptation will be "closer to the book" than Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 celluloid outing, the Beeb promises. Producer Lynn Horsford explained: "With this adaptation we wanted to stay faithful to the spirit and period of the book, but asked the writer, Lizzie [Mickery], to feel free to reimagine it for a modern audience more familiar with James Bond and Jason Bourne."

Those of you not familiar with either the book or the Hitchcock movie are advised to check out the latter, where the question "What are The 39 Steps?" proves rather troublesome for music hall performer Mr Memory.

The BBC meanwhile is set to reveal further details of its reimagination project today. We look forward to seeing Rupert Penry-Jones as Jason Bond over our Xmas turkey and stuffing. ®

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