Next year brings not only dueling adaptations of Snow White, but of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, in the form of a BBC TV miniseries and a movie.

The miniseries stars Gillian Anderson (she’s had experience with Dickens, having starred in the BBC’s Bleak House in 2005) as Miss Havisham and Ray Winstone as Magwitch. The movie, currently being filmed, stars Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch.

Both the movie and the miniseries dare to depart from Dickens and give the story a new ending (but then, Dickens himself provided two), which has caused a bit of controversy in Great Britain (the American press has so far been silent on that issue).

The two-part miniseries was broadcast in Great Britain over Christmas and will appear on PBS Masterpiece beginning April 1.

At 43, Gillian Anderson is the youngest ever to play Miss Havisham. The Telegraph quotes a Dickens expert who calls her “a cougar rather than a crone.”

But then, the movie Miss Havisham, Helena Bonham Carter is just two years older (Anderson in the role on the left, below; Bonham Carter on the right).


The actor who plays Pip in the movie, Jeremy Irvine, is currently receiving attention for his starring role in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse.

Expect to hear much more about Dickens next year, the 200th anniversary of his birth, including a BBC production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which premieres on PBS on April 15.

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