By Anita Singh, Showbusiness Editor, The Telegraph, Published: 27 Aug 2009
Sam Riley, who made his name playing Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in Control, stars as the razor-wielding teenager, Pinkie. Andrea Riseborough and Pete Postlethwaite have also been cast in major roles.
Greene’s novel was published in 1939 and made into a 1947 film with Richard Attenborough as Pinkie and Hermione Baddeley as Ida.
The new BBC Films production transposes the action to 1964 and the world of Mods and Rockers.
It marks the big screen directorial debut of Rowan Joffe, who wrote the screenplay for 28 Weeks Later and is the son of acclaimed director Roland Joffe.
“We’re making Brighton Rock as contemporary as we possibly can because the story feels ‘modern’. It’s too alive, too vibrant and too relevant to be contained in the late Thirties,” he said. “Any form of adaptation is corruption. And Greene - who lovingly and pragmatically corrupted much of his own work to fit the big screen - would have been the first to understand that.”
A spokesman for the film said that setting the story in 1964 brings it “as close as possible to our own times without corrupting the innocence upon which some constituents of the plot and characterisation depend."
He explained: "The Sixties was the era of the great British gangster, the kind of working cass hero that the frightened and ambitious Pinkie longs to be. It was also the last year in which the death penalty was actively carried out, the threat of hanging being a crucial motivation in Pinkie’s desperate attempts to get rid of witnesses to his killing.”