EXCLUSIVE: Welsh broadcaster S4C commissions feature from director Kevin Allen.

Welsh broadcaster S4C has commissioned a film version of classic radio drama Under Milk Wood, set to star Rhys Ifans.

The feature update of poet Dylan Thomas’ classic story about the inhabitants of a fictional Welsh fishing village has been ordered by S4C’s drama commissioner Gwawr Martha Lloyd and will be directed and produced by Kevin Allen (Twin Town).

Director Allen, uncle of singer Lily Allen, secured the UK and international film rights to the radio drama after lengthy negotiations with the Milkwood Trust.

Ifans will play the roles of First Man and Captain Tom Cat, the parts played by Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, respectively, in the 1972 feature adaptation, which also starred Elizabeth Taylor.

The six-week shoot is due to get underway this summer on the west coast of Wales, with English and Welsh-language versions filmed back-to-back. Casting on the supporting roles is underway.

The writing team behind the adaptation comprises Allen, actor Ifans, poet Murray Lachlan Young and Michael Breen. Co-producer is Stephen Malit.

The £1.6m-budgeted feature will mark the second production for Allen’s fFatti fFilms - a joint venture with Welsh production house Tinopolis - after his collaboration with S4C on 2013 feature The Circus.

The Welsh language version will be called Dan y Wenallt.

Backers include S4C and Tinopolis with additional funding coming from the UK tax credit and gap financiers. A tentative TX date has been set for Christmas 2014.

Allen is simultaneously making an S4C-commissioned documentary film - presented by Ifans - about the Welsh poet Thomas, whose centenary is celebrated this year.

The director’s past feature and TV credits include Berlin entry Twin Town, US comedy Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London and ITV’s long-running Benidorm.