Screenwriter Andrew Davies, who was responsible for television adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders, Daniel Deronda and Dr Zhivago, wants the new version to concentrate more heavily on the religious tensions in Waugh's novel than the ITV series did.
Although those tensions were evident in the 1981 adaptation, Davies said: "I think that ITV got the wrong emphasis. Of course, it was done very well by ITV. But I'm more interested in the religious side of the book, rather than the Oxford days. In fact, for me, Sebastian and his teddy bear were the problem.
"The scenes at Oxford were magical and all that, but they were silly, too. The more the book goes on, the more interesting it becomes. It essentially begs the question, 'Is God more important than love?' It's a Catholic novel."