Announced today, the British Film Institute said the film features “an outstanding British cast” starring Helena Bonham Carter as dusty recluse Miss Haversham, Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as Pip, Holliday Grainger (The Borgias) as Estella, and Robbie Coltrane as Mr Jaggers.
Directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and adapted by author David Nicholls, the premiere also marks the end of London’s bicentennial birth-year celebrations of the story’s original creator, Charles Dickens.
“I’ve tried to make a film that is true to the theatrical vividness, energetic characters and high colour that he is loved for, while mining the deep seams of emotional cruelty and madness that underlie one of Dickens’ darkest-shadowed stories,” said Newell. “I’ve tried to make a film for a young modern audience in which Pip and Estella’s fated love affair is shown through feelings and stresses that are of today and in a city that was, then, full of brawling energy, was unimaginably wealthy and very bad…”
Clare Stewart, Head of BFI Exhibition and first time Director of the film festival says she found Newell’s film to be “visually ravishing and rippling with immediacy”. It is partly financed by the BFI Film Fund, and will go on to world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11.
Bonham Carter’s partner Tim Burton will open the LFF with Frankenweenie, a stop-motion greyscale animation which celebrates science, monsters, and the life and death of man’s best friend.
The 56th BFI London Film Festival will run from Oct. 10 – Oct. 21, with the full line-up revealed on Sept 5.
Bonham Carter, Fiennes, and Newell are all expected to attend the premiere, says the BFI.