Mike Newell has Great Expectations
by Naman Ramachandran
06/10/2011 - Britain’s fascination for adapting her literary classics over and over again for the screen continues with Mike Newell’s take on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. The Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire director begins a 10-week shoot on October 10 for what will be the 17th adaptation of this Dickens masterpiece to commemorate the great author’s 200th birth anniversary in 2012.
The film follows young orphan Pip, who is given a chance to rise from his humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Pip employs his newfound position as a gentleman to pursue the beautiful Estella – a spoilt heiress he’s loved since childhood.
David Nicholls (One Day) has penned the adaptation. The stellar British cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane and newcomer Jeremy Irvine, who’s just completed work on Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, in the central role of Pip.
The film is financed by BBC Films, the BFI Film Fund and US based Ulti-Media Group, Inc. Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen from Number 9 Films will produce alongside Ulti-Media’s David Faigenblum. Lionsgate UK’s Zygi Kamasa serves as executive producer. HanWay Films will handle worldwide sales and the film has already been sold in the UK to Lionsgate Films and in Germany to Senator.
Newell said, “Great Expectations has been a book that has haunted me since childhood and it is a privilege to bring to the screen one of the greatest stories in the world. David Nicholls’ screenplay has brought Charles Dickens' work to life for a new audience young and old, reminding us that, in two hundred years, so little has fundamentally changed in our world. And, as always, human nature triumphs over adversity.”