William Monahan to update Becket

Academy Award-winner William Monahan is to write and direct a new adaptation of the French play Becket or The Honour of God .

Monahan will be working with the original script from 1959, rather than creating a remake of the 1964 film starring Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton.

The play follows the conflict between the King Henry II and Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, former friends whose public feud led to the tragic and brutal murder of Becket by the King's supporters.

"For me, it's a chance to take on one of the greatest stories in our civilization, a double tragedy with two heroes, each of them paradoxical, each of them brilliant, each of them making mistakes that lead to their undoing.”

Having won an Oscar for The Departed , Monahan was also the scribe behind Kingdom Of Heaven, Body of Lies , and Edge of Darkness - and perhaps indicitive of the way the latter films were handled, Monahan has now turned his hand to directing.

His debut, London Boulevard , which stars Colin Farrell as a gangster who falls for actress Keira Knightley, hits UK screens on Novermber 26.