Today in Oscar bait: Jeremy Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter are in talks to join Mike Newell's adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations as Pip and Miss Havisham, respectively. Rowan Joffe (The American) is adapting the screenplay, a story of an orphan who becomes a young gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.
Many consider Great Expectations to be one of Dickens' best works, so unsurprisingly, this won't be its first adaptation. Back in 1948, David Lean directed an Oscar-winning black and white version. Followed by that was a contemporary remake, set in NYC and pretty poorly done (IMO) by Alfonso Cuaron. Then in 1999, Julian Jarrold made a Masterpiece Theatre version.
If you've made it this far without googling Jeremy Irvine's name, here's the scoop: he's a fresh face who makes his big screen debut later this year with Steven Spielberg's War Horse, which releases December 28. Apparently, Spielberg picked the young actor out of obscurity for that role, so he must be a pretty talented kid. That or his uncle is Harrison Ford or something.
'Steven Spielberg' is one of those names that has such cachet that we sit up and take notice any time he does, well, anything. Although Spielberg's last project was 2008's disappointing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, his latest, War Horse, looks to hearken back to the tone of his 1987 Empire of the Sun with its war-torn setting and human drama.
War Horse - the story of the friendship between a boy (Joey) and his horse, who is sold to the British army during the First World War (the horse, not the boy) - boasts an impressive international cast, with Jeremy Irvine (formerly of the National Youth Theatre) playing the young horse owner, Emily Watson (Gosford Park, Cold Souls) playing his mother, and Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, Children of Men) his father. Niels Arestrup (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) plays the grandfather of a young French girl (Celine Buckens) who takes Joey in.
Other renowned members of the cast include Tom Hiddleston (to play Loki in Thor and the upcoming Avengers movie), Rainer Bock (Inglorious Basterds), Patrick Kennedy (Atonement), and Stephen Graham (Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies and Al Capone in the upcoming HBO series Boardwalk Empire). Rounding out the ensemble are Nicolas Bro, Leonard Carow, Robert Emms, and David Kross.
War Horse is being adapted by Lee Hall, the writer behind Billy Elliot, and Richard Curtis from the novel by Michael Morpurgo. Expect War Horse to hit theaters August 10, 2011.
Source: Empire Online