November 30, 2012 | Posted by Lindsey Young
To say that “great expectations” were had for Mike Newell’s adaptation of the classic novel by Charles Dickens would not only be corny, but also a great understatement. It’s not because of bad puns or unoriginal wordplay, but because with an impressive cast made up of film veterans and revered newcomers, as well as such rich textual material to work with, anything less than “great” couldn’t be expected. Despite having all of these magical ingredients, ultimately “Great Expectations” proved to be an impressively sound adaptation, but not exactly one that inspires any newfound exaltation.
October 4, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
British Film magazine Empire has unveiled the first poster for Mike Newell’s adaptation of Charles Dickens classic “Great Expectations.” The UK quad style poster seems ill-fated would-be lovers Pip and Estella, played by Jeremy Irvine and Holliday Grainger, channeling some Old Hollywood glamour while framed by the looming figures of Ralph Fiennes as Pip’s shady benefactor Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as Estella’s guardian Miss Havisham.
Irvine’s Pip is a kind orphan who grows up to be a distinguished gentleman of society through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, who longs for unattainable and cold beauty Estella throughout the book and must face the dark places that his mysterious fortune originated from. This adaptation of “Great Expectations” is one of two released in 2012 to celebrate Dickens’ bicentenary; a BBC miniseries with Douglas Booth as Pip and Vanessa Kirby as Estella aired earlier this year.
Newell’s “Great Expectations” will be released in the UK on November 30th, but has no US release date just yet. Our own Lindsey Young caught the flick at the Toronto Film Festival, and you can catch her review a bit closer to release. See the full poster below.
August 15, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Mike Newell‘s “Great Expectations” adaptation has been one of our most anticipated films of the year, and we’ve been eagerly awaiting something new, following a first image late in 2011 and follow up images earlier this month.
Starring Jeremy Irvine and Holliday Grainger, the film follows Irvine’s Pip, a kind orphan who grows up to be a distinguished gentleman of society through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, who longs for the unattainable and cold beauty Estella (Grainger) and must face the dark places that his mysterious fortune originated from. The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter as Estella’s eccentric guardian Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, the ex-convict who sponsors Pip’s transformation into a man of means.
This first trailer (which comes with German subtitles) looks lavish and dark, with a haunting soundtrack and focusing on providing an overview of the entire plot. But the big challenge of adapting a beloved and oft-adapted Charles Dickens’ tale is coming up with something new. We’ll find out if Newell has succeeded when the film premieres at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival this September.
Click below to the view the trailer and let us know in the comments what you think of this first trailer.
November 15, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Warner Bros continues to dream big and reach out to strictly A-list talent to round out the ensemble cast of its risky, bid budget remake of Japanese manga “Akira”, with offers out to the likes of Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter still pending. Thus far the only actor to officially sign on is Garrett Hedlund, who will star as Kaneda in the futuristic actioner, and while previous reports indicated Keira Knightley had been offered an unspecified female role, Twitch now reports it’s “Twilight” series star Kristen Stewart who has the offer for the female lead. Presumably this means Knightley has passed on the role. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into the next “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”
Stewart, who just recently worked with Hedlund on the equally controversial, long-gestating adaptation of “On the Road”, has been offered the role of Kei, a young medium and love interest to Hedlund’s Kaneda. Kaneda’s story mainly revolves around an attempt to save his little brother Tetsuo from becoming a government science experiment and weapon after the younger man begins developing telekinetic abilities. Ezra Miller and Alden Ehrenreich are among the actors being eyed for the role of Tetsuo. Jaume Collet-Serra will direct.
The “Twilight” films, the second to last installment of which – “Breaking Dawn” – opens this Friday, made an international superstar out of former indie actress Stewart, who now seems to be more keen on big budget blockbusters, currently filming next summer’s fantasy epic “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Could “Akira” be next?
November 11, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Most of you have probably already seen the gothic and over the top look Helena Bonham Carter embodies in the first ever images from “Great Expectations”, but today The Daily Mail brings us what we here at Up and Comers have been waiting for: the first image of “War Horse” star Jeremy Irvine as Pip, the orphan on whom expectations are great. The Mike Newell-directed adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic is currently shooting in England.
Irvine’s Pip is a kind orphan who grows up to be a distinguished gentleman of society through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, who longs for unattainable and cold beauty Estella throughout the book and must face the dark places that his mysterious fortune originated from. Estella will be played by “The Borgias” star Holliday Grainger, with Bonham Carter as her eccentric guardian Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes is Magwitch, the ex-convict who sponsors Pip’s transformation into a man of means.
This big screen adaptation of “Great Expectations” is one of two coming our way in 2012 to celebrate Dickens’ bicentenary; a BBC miniseries with Douglas Booth as Pip and Vanessa Kirby as Estella is in production for the small screen.
Irvine and Bonham Carter look every bit the Victorian gothic characters the are portraying; now, if we could just get a shot of Grainger as Estella…
November 4, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Now that Garrett Hedlund is basically squared away to lead Warner Bros’ remake of “Akira” and offers for other roles have gone out to such heavyhitters as Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter and Keira Knightley, the search turns to the second male lead. THR reports two young actors have emerged as potential front-runners for the role of Tetsuo: “We Need to Talk About Kevin” star and Oscar hopeful Ezra Miller, and a regular of Francis Ford Coppola’s films, Alden Ehrenreich. Both actors will read for the role next Tuesday.
In Japan, “Akira” was set in a post-apocalypric Neo-Toyko, but this new Americanized adaptation will take place in New-Manhattan, where Hedlund’s Kaneda, the leader of a bike gang, must save his little brother Tetsuo from becoming a science experiment and a dangerous weapon after he develops telekinetic abilities.
Miller is earning raves as the homicidal teenager in Lynn Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, currently one of the most buzzed about movies during Oscar season, and will next be see opposite Logan Lerman and Emma Watson in the highly anticipated “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Ehrenreich, a favorite of Francis Ford Coppola, made his feature film debut in “Tetro” and also starred opposite Elle Fanning in “Twixt.” He recently wrapped up shooting “Stoker” opposite Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode.
November 3, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
UPDATE: THR reports Keira Knightley has been approached to take a role in the film as well, but like Bonham Carter and Oldman, has not entered any formal negotiations yet.
It’s really happening. Warner Bros is moving full speed ahead on a project that many people have hoped would just go away. Last we heard, “Akira” had been officially greenlit and filmmakers were looking at Garrett Hedlund for the lead role. Well, now it’s official. Twitch reported earlier this morning that the offer had been made to Hedlund to take on the role of Kaneda, and Variety updated a few hours later that negotiations are now formally underway.
In Japan, “Akira” was set in a post-apocalypric Neo-Toyko, but this new Americanized adaptation will take place in New-Manhattan, “where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.” There is no word on who might play that friend, Tetsuo. Hedlund’s name endured from a much earlier shortlist of young actors, so could Tetsuo be Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield or James McAvoy, who were all being looked into for the role back in March? Time will tell but two acting veterans, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter, do have formal offers for unspecified roles as well. Jaume Collet-Serra will direct.
Hedlund has a bit of a streak going with controversial big screen adaptations lately. “Tron: Legacy” was the sequel to the iconic 1982 nerd classic “Tron”, which a lot of people didn’t want. Water Salles’ long-gestating, upcoming “On the Road” is an adaptation of the Kerouac classic that even more people didn’t want. So really, Hedlund of all people taking “Akira” should come as no surprise.
September 23, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
in Casting, General News
Those hoping to hear Hermione sing will have to wait a little longer. London’s The Daily Mail confirms that recent reports of Emma Watson being cast as Cosette in Tom Hooper’s big screen adaptation of “Les Miserables” are, in fact, incorrect. She will not be in the film. The only confirmed cast members thus far are Hugh Jackman as noble ex-con Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his arch nemesis, Inspector Javert. Hooper has also offered roles to Anne Hathaway (as Cosette’s mother Fantine) and Helena Bonham Carter (as greedy but hilarious innkeeper’s wife Mrs Thenardier), but they are not officially on board yet.
The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye goes on to report that Hooper will be looking for 17 and 18 year old actors – not people in their 20s – to play the student revolutionaries, which includes Marius, Cosette’s love interest; Eponine, a streetwise friend of Marius’ who’s in unrequited love with him and sings “On My Own”, the most famous song of the show; and Enjolras, the leader of the revolutionary army. Unfortunately for us, this apparently means our dream cast has little chance of actually coming together.
Filming is set to begin in March with rehearsals starting in January and February for the main cast. Jackman spoke to Bamigboye about the music aspect of mounting a big screen musical: “There’s the option of recording live or lip-synching and I’ve been down the lip-synching route with the video of ‘Oklahoma!’” Jackman says.
“I think singing live might work better with this, but Tom won’t make a decision just yet.”
September 20, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
and Rebecca Lewis
in Casting, Features
Hands down, one of our most highly anticipated upcoming movies is the long-gestating big screen adaptation of worldwide blockbuster musical “Les Miserables”. Australian actors Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe – both acting and singing heavyweights, well done, Tom Hooper – have been officially set for the lead roles of Jean Valjean, a reformed escaped convict and Javert, the by-the-numbers police inspector relentlessly on his tail, but there are plenty of other crucial roles to be cast.
As Jean Valjean journeys through 19th century France with Javert hot on his heels, they meet plenty of new friends and foes along the way. Who will be the tragic symbol of the plight of the poor, Fantine? Her lovely daughter Cosette? The student revolutionaries Enjolras and Marius? There are rumors abound for most of these roles, including the likes of Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush for Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, the crowd-pleasing, hilariously greedy innkeepers tasked by Fantine to take care of Cosette, but one fact remains crucial: Whoever joins the cast must be talented in both acting and singing at the level that Victor Hugo’s classic story and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s libretto demands. Here’s a few actors that fit the bill who we would love to see join Jackman and Crowe in the film.
June 17, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Fast rising British actress Holliday Grainger has been cast in the pivotal role of Estella in Mike Newell’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens classic “Great Expectations”, reports Screen Daily. Grainger will play love interest and emotional torturer of the orphan Pip, played by “War Horse” star Jeremy Irvine.
For those of us who are fans of the new hit Showtime series “The Borgias”, this seems like a bit of perfect casting. As Lucrezia Borgia, Grainger already pretty much plays Estella on a weekly basis, charming and manipulating men to get her way. “She is just an incredibly fine actor and has the beauty that is needed for Estella as well as an extraordinary technical ability,” producer Elizabeth Karlsen said of the actress. Initially, American actress Rooney Mara had been in early negotiations for the role, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
Estella is brought up and taught to torture men by the eccentric Miss Havisham, played by Helena Bonham Carter in Newe’lls adaptation. Irvine’s naive and kindhearted Pip is no match for Estella’s beauty and succumbs quickly to her charms, all the while becoming the recipient of a mysterious benefactor, the ex-convict Magwitch to be played by Ralph Fiennes.
Grainger was most recently seen on the big screen as one of Mia Wasikowska’s cousins in Cary Fukunaga’s “Jane Eyre” and will next be seen opposite Robert Pattinson in Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod’s adaptation of “Bel Ami”. “The Borgias” was also picked up for season 2 on Showtime.
Filming on Newell’s “Great Expectations” begins on October 10 in London, readying for a 2012 release to celebrate Dickens’ bicentenary. A BBC miniseries of the same novel is also planned, with Douglas Booth set for the role of Pip and Ray Winstone as Magwitch.