Mike Newell to Helm 'Great Expectations' Adaptation

Newell's movie will be produced by Oscar-winning producer Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen.


LONDON -- Mike Newell is gearing up to direct a fresh take on Great Expectations, based on the book by Charles Dickens.

Newell plans to direct the feature, which will be part of a year-round celebration of Charles Dickens's bicentenary in 2012.

Newell's take will be produced by Oscar-winning producer Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen. It details the story of a humble orphan who winds up as a gentleman following the largesse of an unknown benefactor.

The work was tackled by British directing legend David Lean in a black and white adaptation in 1948 which garnered Lean Oscar nominations while the film itself won a brace of technical Academy awards.

Next year will also see the BBC 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.

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.

Dickens 2012 is co-ordinated by the Charles Dickens Museum and Film London with backing from The Dickens Fellowship.

Born in Portsmouth on Feb. 7, 1812 and living in London for the majority of his life, Dickens was the most popular author of the Victorian era and is widely regarded as one of the finest novelists of all time.

Film London chief executive Adrian Wootton said: "Dickens's stories have spawned films, plays, television dramas and musicals and after Shakespeare, no other writer matches Dickens in terms of global cultural influence."