The Battle of the Havishams

Posted by Sharon Deans on December 13, 2011 in News tagged with , , , ,

Just as we are presented with the spectre of Charlize Theron and Julia Roberts hamming it up for all they are worth to win the ‘Who is the Wickedest (and Campest) Queen Of All?’ competition at the box office for their performances in the two imminent Snow White films, we now also have the forthcoming battle of the Miss Havishams!  In addition to the BBC backed film adaptation of Great Expectations due out in cinemas in 2012 (previously highlighted by Glennis Byron on this website), the BBC are also showing their own new three-part television adaptation over the Christmas season (9.00pm on the 27th, 28th & 29th December).  Leaving aside the obvious question as to why the BBC seems to have invested money in two different versions of the same project, this one does look good.  The cast includes Ray Winstone as Magwitch, Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, David Suchet as Jaggers, and an impossibly beautiful Douglas Booth as Pip. It is directed by Brian Kirk and adapted by Sarah Phelps.

Whilst Helena Bonham Carter (cast as Miss Havisham in the film) is certainly the Gothic heroine du jour, I am more impressed by the casting of Gillian Anderson for this television adaptation.  She excelled both as Lady Dedlock in the BBC’s 2006 adaptation of Bleak House, and as Mrs Castaway (Sugar’s mother) in last year’s BBC adaptation of The Crimson Petal and The White.  She seems more ascetically Gothic than Bonham Carter to me – hope I’m not disappointed.

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