Dustin Hoffman
Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench are set to star in a live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel, "Esio Trot," for the BBC. Richard Curtis ("About Time," "Love Actually") is penning the adaptation along with Paul Mayhew-Archer.

Hoffman will play retired bachelor Mr. Hoppy, who hides a secret love for his downstairs neighbor, Ms. Silver (Dench). In the novel, as a method of winning Ms. Silver's affections, Mr. Hoppy devises a plan to help her small pet tortoise grow bigger, by sending down to her apartment a slip of paper containing a magic incantation, beginning with: "Esio Trot, Esio Trot."

Emmy winner Dearbhla Walsh ("Little Dorrit") will direct.