Ray Winstone Set for BBC's 'Great Expectations'

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New BBC/Masterpiece reworking promises epic themes.

LONDON - Ray Winstone will return to British screens in Great Expecations, a new BBC/Masterpiece adaptation of the Dickens classic due to air as a three-part drama on BBC1 over Christmas.

Winstone will play Magwitch, the escaped convict who turns benefactor to a young boy, Pip.

HIs youthful co-star will be played by rising star Douglas Booth, who attracted plaudits for his recent performances in Worried About the Boy and Christopher And His Kind.

Producers have been in talks with X-Files star Gillian Anderson about taking the role of Miss Haversham, with the aim of giving the  gothic jilted bride a far more youthful and charismatic presence than has ever been seen on screen. However, Anderson - who recently played embittered brothel owner and prostitute Mrs Castaway in another BBC period drama The Scarlet Petal and the Black - has not yet been announced as part of the cast.

The new Dickens reworking comes from writer Sarah Phelps, who pitches the classic drama as "part thriller, part mystery, with a powerful love story at its heart."

Phelps said the epic themes of obsession, corruption, redemption and revenge would bring a new generation of viewers to the classic tale. Filming will begin in July.

"I'm thrilled to be playing Magwiitch. I've wanted to play him for ages," said Winstone, who said the Dickens classic was his favorite novel.

"I'm really excited about Sarah Phelps' new take on the story and I can't wait to get stuck in."

 

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