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Director Mike Newell is planning his own take on Great Expectations

02.07.2011

There have been several adaptations of Charles Dickens GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

If you're around my age, the one you remember the most is the 1998 film version directed by Alfonso Cuarón starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow. Or perhaps you went to a little place called High School and read it there. Cuarón is a great director, but my opinion of this version was just "meh". To be fair though, I haven't seen it since the year 2000, so my opinion may be different if I were to watch it now.

All my viewing habits aside, Mike Newell whose last directing job was PRINCE OF PERSIA has decided to do his own fresh adaptation of the Dickens' novel. He will have help from Oscar winning producers Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen (THE CRYING GAME).

What's neat is the reason that Newell is taking on this delightful challenge. The feature will be part of a year-round celebration of Charles Dickens's bicentenary in 2012.

Next year the BBC will run a BBC Dickens season, which will include new dramas and documentaries and an Arena documentary on the author's work as portrayed on film. To add further on the occasion, The British Film Institute is also planning the largest ever retrospective of film and television adaptations of Dickens's work which will go on a global tour in 2012 taking in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris.

Because someone is bound to ask, here's a synopsis of the book:

"The first-person narrative relates the coming-of-age of Pip (Philip Pirrip). Reared in the marshes of Kent by his disagreeable sister and her sweet-natured husband, the blacksmith Joe Gargery, the young Pip one day helps a convict to escape. Later he is sent to live with Miss Havisham, a woman driven half-mad years earlier by her lover's departure on their wedding day. Her other ward is the orphaned Estella, whom she is teaching to torment men with her beauty. Pip, at first cautious, later falls in love with Estella, to his misfortune. When an anonymous benefactor makes it possible for Pip to go to London for an education, he credits Miss Havisham. He begins to look down on his humble roots, but nonetheless Estella spurns him again and marries instead the ill-tempered Bentley Drummle. Pip's benefactor turns out to have been Abel Magwitch, the convict he once aided, who dies awaiting trial after Pip is unable to help him a second time. Joe rescues Pip from despair and nurses him back to health."

Extra Tidbit: "I'm like Estella, I like to reel it in and then spit it out. I'm frustrated by your apathy." (In honor of MFC's 90s weekend)
Source: THR

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