Charles Dickens is now afflicted with Sherlock Holmes syndrome. That’s the new, action-oriented Holmes from Warner Bros. and Guy Ritchie — not any of the other versions that have existed over the years.

When a creator tells stories with universal appeal they invariably become subject to contexts and varied re-tellings that never would have occurred to the originator. By and large that’s a good thing, but occasionally it means that a silly idea gets traction. And so be prepared for Dodge and Twist, which will re-tell Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist in the context of a period film with modern action thrills, just like we’ve seen in the two Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films.

THR explains that Dodge & Twist “takes pickpocketing rivals Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger and re-imagines them 20 years down the road. The two are on opposite sides of the law and get embroiled in an affair to steal the Crown Jewels.”

Cole Haddon is scripting; he has already re-imagined Dracula for television. The trade says development here has been fast-tracked, so we can possibly expect to see it sooner rather than later.

Is this idea really a bad one? In truth, there could be a fun movie spun out of the material, though doing so in the Holmes style will likely mean discarding much of the real meat of Dickens’ story, and that’s a shame.

With a name like Dodge and Twist, couldn’t the producers just re-work the Oliver Twist plot as a dance battle?

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