Gothic expectations: look at Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham
The first pictures have emerged of the Corpse Bride actor as Dickens' celebrated jiltee in Great Expectations. Is she too young for the role? Or has she goth what it takes?
Friday 4 November 2011 in The Guardian Filmblog
Is this the most glamorous ever Miss Havisham? The first pictures have emerged of Helena Bonham Carter in the role of the celebrated jiltee in the upcoming Great Expectations adaptation, directed by Mike Newell. At 45, Bonham Carter is by some distance the youngest actor to play Havisham in recent times – you have to go back to David Lean's 1946 adaptation to find a comparable figure, in the shape of then 46-year-old Martita Hunt.
Even though Havisham's age is not explicitly stated in Dickens' novel, did he have Bonham Carter's cobweb-laden crypto-goth look in mind for the mansion-dwelling recluse, as she holes up with only her rotting wedding cake and pliable niece Estella for company? Whatever else, Bonham Carter is not afraid to take on eccentric, maturer roles, what with Enid Blyton and Nigel Slater's stepmother for TV, voicing Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Aardman's Lady Tottington, Bellatrix Lestrange, the Red Queen and Sweeney Todd's Mrs Lovett in the cinema. But is Miss Havisham as the Corpse Bride a step too far? What do you think?
Great Expectations: New end penned for Dickens classic
By Tim Masters
Entertainment and arts correspondent, BBC News
Writer David Nicholls has revealed that he has written a new ending to Great Expectations for his movie "thriller" version of the Dickens classic.
The film, directed by Mike Newell, is currently being shot in the UK and stars Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch.
Nicholls, the author of hit novel One Day, was speaking at the launch of the BFI's Dickens on Screen season.
He said the ending was "somewhere in between" the two written by Dickens.
The BFI season is described as the largest retrospective of Dickens on film and television ever staged.
It will include David Lean's Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), as well as rarely seen silent adaptations like Scrooge - or Marley's Ghost (1901) and David Copperfield (1913).
"The David Lean film is a masterpiece and always will be a masterpiece," said Nicholls.
He said Dickens wrote "great action" which had helped influence the new screen version.
"It's very fast moving - with all kinds of twists and turns - so we're very much approaching it as a thriller."
Nicholls added: "What we didn't want to do was impose an anachronistic genre on to Dickens - we didn't want to turn it entirely into a film noir."
When Pip goes to see Miss Havisham it's a bit like going to see Hannibal Lecter - it's a real set piece.”
He said Magwitch's boat escape scenes were being filmed with Fiennes on Thursday in Kent.
"I'm incredibly excited about the film so far," he said.
"We're halfway through - we filmed Helena Bonham Carter's Miss Havisham scenes over the last two weeks and that was an extraordinary experience."
Other cast members include Jeremy Irvine as Pip, Robbie Coltrane as Mr Jaggers, Sally Hawkins as Mrs Joe, Holliday Grainger as Estella, Ewen Bremner as Wemmick, and David Walliams as Uncle Pumblechook.
Nicholls said that turning a 500-page Dickens novel into a 120-minute film had meant leaving some things out.
"In the book, Pip goes to see Miss Havisham 14 times and we wanted to get it down to five times. When Pip goes to see her it's a bit like going to see Hannibal Lecter - it's a real set piece."
He said the new film, out next year, would give a glimpse of Miss Havisham's wedding - not previously seen in movie versions.
The BFI season will include the epic two-part version of Little Dorrit (1988) with Derek Jacobi
The author revealed - to a few gasps in the room - that he had given Great Expectations a new ending.
"Dickens came up with two endings - one which is incredibly bleak and one which is unrealistically romantic and sentimental," Nicholls said.
"Neither are quite satisfactory and we've come up with an ending that isn't in the book - and is somewhere in between.
"It draws on events in the book but takes them in a slightly different direction, but is in no way sacrilegious."
Dickens on Screen is at the BFI Southbank from January - March 2012. The season is part of Dickens 2012, the worldwide celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Helena's bridal path to despair as Miss Havisham in Dickens' masterpiece
Helena Bonham Carter sits, as still as a porcelain doll in her layers and layers of lace and taffeta silk, in a darkened room, plotting her revenge on men.
She resembles some preserved exotic fruit: perfect on the outside, but rotting from within for 20 years.
By BAZ BAMIGBOYE
4 November 2011in The Daily Mail
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2057429/Helena-Bonham-Carters-path-despair-Miss-Havisham-Dickens-masterpiece.html#ixzz1xwHiDmMs
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2057429/Helena-Bonham-Carters-path-despair-Miss-Havisham-Dickens-masterpiece.html#ixzz1xwHZ6VSq
‘In a sense, she’s a feast for the eyes,’ said Elizabeth Karlsen, who is producing director
Mike Newell’s new version of Great Expectations with Stephen Woolley and executives from BBC Films and Lionsgate.
The Oscar-nominated actress is playing Miss Havisham in Dickens’ masterpiece, which is
being filmed on locations in and around London.
‘She’s this lonely soul who has become a manipulator,’ Karlsen noted.
Helena’s magnificent costume was designed by Beatrix Aruna Pasztor. It looks so exquisite it could have been part of a glossy feature, created by Grace Coddington, for U.S. Vogue.
Joining Helena in the film are Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, Holliday Grainger as Estella, Robbie Coltrane as Mr Jaggers, Jason Flemyng as Joe Gargery, Sally Hawkins as his wife.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Irvine — soon to be seen in Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated epic War Horse — as Pip, the lad of whom much is expected.
Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams, Holliday Grainger, Ewan Bremner, Toby Irvine
Director: Mike Newell
Movie Studio: TBD
Running Time: 2 hours