BBC’s Great Expectations: Olivia Coleman will star in the Tom Hardy produced Dickens adaptation

BBC’s Great Expectations: Olivia Coleman will star in the Tom Hardy produced Dickens adaptation

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We certainly have Great Expectations for the BBC’s buzziest new period drama.

If there’s nothing you love more than a star-studded adaptation that brings a classic to life, it’s time to get excited.

Production has finally begun on the BBC and FX’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations into a gritty period drama.

If you’re not familiar, Dickens’ 1860 coming-of-age tale is about an orphan named Pip, whose tale begins when he’s accosted in a graveyard by an escaped convict. It follows him through childhood and into adulthood, and introduces a number of iconic characters. There’s Miss Havisham, who has refused to take off her mouldering wedding dress after being jilted at the altar. There’s the beautiful but cold Estella. And then there’s Joe, the unsophisticated and kind blacksmith.

So far, so good.

And while Great Expectations has been adapted a number of times, most recently as a 2012 film starring Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine, there is very good reason for the buzz around this upcoming series: none other than Oscar and Emmy winner Olivia Coleman will be taking a starring role.

Coleman is no stranger to a period drama, from her turn as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown to haughty Queen Anne in The Favourite, wealthy and eccentric spinster Miss Havisham could just be her zaniest role to date.

Previously, heavyweights like Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Jean Simmons and Anne Bancroft have all taken on the iconic character, but we have no doubt that Coleman will bring her signature quirky charm to make the complex role her own in the six-part limited series.

Olivia Coleman in The Favourite
Olivia Coleman in The Favourite

As for the rest of the cast, Fionn Whitehead will take the lead as Philip ‘Pip’ Pirrip, the orphan boy at the centre of the classic coming of age story.

Ashley Thomas as Pip’s lawyer, Jaggers, Johnny Harris as escaped convict Magwitch, Shalom Brune-Franklin as Estella, Hayley Squires as Sara and Killing Eve’s Owen McDonnell as Joe.

Trystan Gravelle will play Compeyson, alongside Matt Berry as Mr. Pumblechuck.

Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead will play Pip in the BBC’s Great Expectations
Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead will play Pip in the BBC’s Great Expectations

But not only does it include a star-studded cast, the series is backed by some pretty stand-out people behind the camera, too. Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker, Kate Crowe, and Mona Qureshi for the BBC will also executive produce.

The production is still in its early stages, and there’s been no word yet on an expected release date. But what we can say for sure is that when it does arrive, it’s sure to be one of the biggest releases of the year.

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