Rhys Ifans to Star in Film Adaptation of Dylan Thomas' 'Under Milk Wood'

Rhys Ifans Headshot - P 2013
Getty Images

Rhys Ifans Headshot - P 2013

Director and producer Kevin Allen will shoot English- and Welsh-language movie versions of the "play for voices," with Ifans in the role of First Voice.

LONDON – Director and producer Kevin Allen, best known for the Welsh cult comedy thriller Twin Town, has secured film rights to poet Dylan Thomas' iconic work, Under Milk Wood.

Allen and fFatti fFilms inked a deal for U.K. and international rights to Thomas' brilliant, haunting "play for voices," after what the filmmaker and partners described as a "lengthy negotiation process." Under Milk Wood was first performed in 1954 and is set in the fictional Welsh seaside town of Llareggub.

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Allen aims to shoot a movie adaptation back-to-back in English and Welsh starring Rhys Ifans in the role of First Voice, which was originally played by Richard Burton, who starred alongside Elizabeth Taylor in the only existing feature film rendition of Thomas' dreamscape in 1972.

The production will be partly bankrolled by Welsh broadcaster S4C and will be accompanied by a documentary film about Thomas, recently shot for the Dylan 100 Centenary celebrations with Ifans presenting. 

The development team behind Under Milk Wood is Allen, poet-writer Murray Lachlan Young, Ifans and metaphysics guru Michael Breen.

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The production promises to "veer away from delivering a one-dimensional, literal reflection of Thomas' original work" and aims to "explore some of the darker, visceral elements" of what the development team describe as "a richly funny, filthily fluid dystopian dreamscape – whilst not stooping to mess with Thomas' original text."

A seven-week shoot is scheduled for this summer and Allen intends to engage much of the production infrastructure from The Circus, a period family feature he shot last year in Wales.

Ifans is repped by 42, UTA and Brillstein Grey.