Are you ready for a gritty new dramatic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations?
There’s nothing we love more than snuggling down in front of a sumptuous literary adaptation on the TV. So you can imagine how excited we were to learn that Tom Hardy and Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight are teaming up to bring Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations to the BBC.
Fans of the duo will no doubt remember that Knight and Hardy previously teamed up to adapt another Dickens classic last year. Indeed, A Christmas Carol – starring Guy Pearce – made waves with its incredibly dark undertones and explicit language.
So what can we expect from this one, then?
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Dickens’ 1860 classic is a coming-of-age tale 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.
On top of all this, though, the book is filled to the brim with prison ships, fights to the death, poverty-stricken cities, and so much more, making it perfectly suited to a gritty Peaky Blinders-esque adaptation.
“Adapting Dickens’ work is a delight,” Knight said in a statement. “I chose Great Expectations as the next work to bring to the screen not just because of the timeless characters, but also because of the very timely story.
“A story of class mobility and class intransigence, told through an intensely emotional and personal first person narrative.”
He added: “As the son of a blacksmith myself, Pip’s journey from the forge into society is a very special one to me.”
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, added that Great Expectations was “the perfect choice given its timely and personal narrative”.
“[Knight’s] original take on one of Britain’s most-loved classics will make it must-see drama for a whole new generation,” she said.
Knight will write and executive produce the six-part BBC One/FX limited series, with Hardy on hand to executively produce. Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W Zucker and Kate Crowe will also hold executive producer credits.
Production isn’t expected to begin until 2021.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.