New Adaptation of 'Great Expectations' Coming from Mike Newell
After previously directing quality films like the romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral, the crime drama Donnie Brasco and blockbuster sequels Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it's sad that director Mike Newell delivered the abysmal video game adaptation Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time last summer. However, it sounds like Newell will be stepping away from blockbuster territory again as Screen Daily (via The Playlist) reports the filmmaker is in talks to direct a new adaptation of Charles Dickens' literary classic Great Expectations from One Day writer David Nicholls.
For those unfamiliar with Dickens' classic story, which you probably read in high school, here's a synopsis:
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.
The Playlist points out that Nicholls' script made the 2009 Brit List (which is like the Black List for the UK), so it's obviously a good adaptation. Nicholls apparently wrote briefly about the script back in '09: "needless to say David Lean's classic version casts a long shadow, but I'm confident that we've come up with a new take on the wonderful material, something that feels fresh and new while still being largely faithful to the book." Interestingly enough, aside from the classic adaptation, Alfonso Cuaron (another Harry Potter alum) directed his own version in 1998. If Newell signs on, filming should start in the next few months. Thoughts?