New ‘Great Expectations’ Trailer: The Classic Comes to Life

Published 2 years ago by

517938560 3 620 439 New ‘Great Expectations’ Trailer: The Classic Comes to Life

One of the reasons that the books of Charles Dickens have endured (other than that he was the Stephen King-style mega-bestseller of his day) is that their relatively simple premises give way to labyrinthine stories with surprisingly heavy themes. Take Great Expectations, for example: Initially the tale of an orphan who inherits a fortune and becomes a respected gentleman, Great Expectations eschews a simple rags-to-riches story by intertwining Pip’s rise from poverty with a disturbing mystery, a painful romance, and themes of social injustice, heartbreak, childhood abandonment, and abuse.

Just as the popularity of Dickens’ novels endures, so too do they remain rich material for film adaptation. The latest movie version of Great Expectations has been long in development, having released a trailer last year and – after a Toronto International Film Festival debut – disappeared from public consciousness. Now, the adaptation has released another preview and set date for a limited theatrical release: November 8th of this year.

Great Expectations is directed by Mike Newell (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and stars Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and Holliday Grainger (Anna Karenina). Helena Bonham Carter (The Lone Ranger), Robbie Coltane (the Harry Potter series), and Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall) round out the cast.

Great Expectations Irvine Grainger New ‘Great Expectations’ Trailer: The Classic Comes to LifeDespite the rich costuming and customarily wild-eyed performance by Helena Bonham Carter, there’s something oddly bland about this newest preview for Great Expectations. The drab shot-work and almost tossed-off accompanying music for the trailer don’t do it any favors.

Part of the sensation may simply be adaptation fatigue – along with almost every other Dickens novel, Great Expectations has seen a great many film and television conversions. Why return to such a heavily used well once again?

Of course, this shouldn’t necessarily preclude filmmakers from trying their hand at adapting classic literature. Any new version could, theoretically, become the definitive one. On November 8th, audiences will have to decide whether Mike Newell’s Great Expectations is just that.


Great Expectations will enter a limited theatrical run on November 8th, 2013.

Follow Kyle Hembree on Twitter @ProjectNightHam
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  1. This actually came out in the UK last Christmas. Wonder why it’s taken so long to get a release in the US? For what it’s worth I didn’t think it was very good…the BBC did a television adaptation a year or two before and that was much better.

    • What was the BBC one called? I’d like to see a good adaptation of that book its one of my faves. The social commentary is still relevant after all those years.

      • Why don’t you watch the David lean version ?

      • The recent BBC version was just caled Great Expectations but it had Ray Winstone as Magwitch and Douglas Booth as Pip.

        The David Lean version is very good as well.

        • Not forgetting Agent Scully as Miss Havisham. Helena BC: good, Gillian A: way better.

  2. The best version – by far – was the 1999 version starring Justine Waddell as Estella – she was stunning and talented as was the rest of the cast. Jaggers was played by the Emperor himself. This version is hard to find now, but well worth it.

  3. Read the book in school…cuz I had to. It helped me catch up on my sleep in class. And who names a kid “Pip”?!

  4. The DEFINITIVE ONE, huh? I had to read this 600+ page novel for my high school literature class. It was good, but I remember no scene where Pip is sucking face with…..anyone. Try again.

    And not to spoil it..()…..but if this movie ends like most romantic movies do, it won’t be true to the book either.

  5. Hmm. Spoilers.

    Also, @ raymondtillson, there is an alternate ending written by Dickens which has a very typical Romance ending.

  6. I actually saw this film when I was in London last year and thought it was the best Great Expectations adaptation I’ve seen. I have seen the David Lean version and the BBC version. As you can tell I am a huge fan of the book :P I love Jeremy Irvine playing Pip!