It’s been such a thrill to follow the success of the Heartstopper stars. Now that the beloved Netflix series has made them all household names, they’ve been racking up massive new roles, one after the other.
We shrieked with delight when Yasmin Finney signed on to Doctor Who opposite Ncuti Gatwa. We gasped when it was announced Joe Locke was heading to Marvel’s Coven Of Chaos—possibly as a Young Avenger. And, now, Kit Connor is joining the all-star cast of a major literary adaptation from an Oscar-winning director!
But… there’s a catch: You won’t actually see Connor in it. Or anyone for that matter. Because it’s a podcast. Or, an audiobook, rather.
It was earlier this morning when we came across the exciting news that the Heartstopper actor was cast in an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist from Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes.
Admittedly, we hadn’t had our coffee yet. But, if we had, we would have spit it out in excitement as we read the starry list of names joining Connor in the ensemble: Succession‘s Brian Cox, Nope‘s Daniel Kaluuya, and Bridgerton‘s Nicola Coughlin. It was almost too good to be true! And it was—at least the movie adaptation we had imagined was.
And that’s not to besmirch the name of podcasts! We love a good podcast—our queue of downloads is ambitious and unwieldy. We just got excited about the idea of seeing Connor dressed as a 19th century pickpocket roaming the streets of old London. And from the award-winning director behind 1917 and Skyfall, no less! Alas.
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The news comes from Deadline, who reports that the Mendes-produced Oliver Twist is available now via Audible, a streaming service that has really cornered the market for scripted and serialized audio series featuring A-list talent.
Connor voices the supporting role of Noah Claypole, a young servant who, at one point, comes to blows with his peer, Oliver (The Man Who Fell To Earth‘s Emilio Villa-Muhammad).
The story—if you’re not familiar—concerns itself with the eponymous orphan, born into poverty and forced to live in a dreadful English workhouse. Once he’s kicked out, Oliver goes to fight for a life on his own, eventually banding together with a group of young pickpockets headed up by the Artful Dodger (T2 Trainspotting‘s Elijah Wolf) and their guardian, Fagin (Cox).
The cast also includes Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), Julia Davis (Love Actually), Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso), Patricia Allison (Sex Education) and Diane Morgan (a.k.a. the hilarious “Philomena Cunk,” who you’ve likely seen a lot of on TikTok lately). Audible’s Oliver Twist also boasts an original score from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie composer Dan Gillespie-Sells.
The audio series marks Connor’s first major casting announcement since coming out as bisexual in late October—something he says he felt forced to do amid queer-baiting allegations from so-called fans of Heartstopper. “I think some of you missed the point of the show,” he tweeted.
Next, Connor can be seen as one of the romantic leads of YA adaptation A Cuban Girl’s Guide To Tea And Tomorrow, which is expected to release in 2023. And, as of earlier this fall, he was back on the set of Heartsopper with Locke, Finney, and the whole crew, so fingers crossed we get to see the next chapter of Nick and Charlie’s romance sooner rather than later!
You can hear Kit Connor and more in Sam Mendes’ Oliver Twist audio series, now available on Audible.