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Jeremy Irvine & Helena Bonham Carter Circle Mike Newell’s ‘Great Expectations’

Jeremy Irvine & Helena Bonham Carter Circle Mike Newell's 'Great Expectations'

If the name Jeremy Irvine is meaningless to you, don’t worry, that will soon change. The National Youth Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company actor — and player in the the Brit series “Life Bites” — was handpicked last year by Steven Spielberg to star in his upcoming WWI drama “War Horse” and now it looks like the actor is ready to take on one of the giants of literature with veteran Brit thesp possibly joining him.

Variety reports that Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter are in talks to join Mike Newell‘s adaptation of Chales Dickens‘ “Great Expectations.” The book, which is being penned for the big screen by Rowan Joffe (“28 Weeks Later,” “The American“) follows the orphan Pip (Irvine) across thirty years, as he encounters characters like escaped convict Magwitch and the shut-away Miss Havisham (Bonham Carter), while falling for the latter’s adopted daughter Estella. The novel has seen a number of adaptations over the years including David Lean’s 1946 version — which is is easily the best — while the most recent was Alfonso Cuaron‘s 1998 modern reworking, with Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert De Niro. However, whether or not this comes together remains to be seen.

We’ve been hearing that funding might be an issue as the BBC just green-lit a 3-part TV version of the novel, making this project somewhat redundant. However, competing projects between producers and filmmakers has never stopped anyone before and we’d guess that if the right cast can get lined up, this project will find its footing.

Should it all come together, filming will start this fall with a planned 2012 release as part of a year-round celebration of Dickens’ bicentenary.

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