If you're going to launch a new version of Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations,' who comes to mind to play nuttier-than-a-fruitcake Miss Havisham, that most Gothically eccentric of literary creations?

If you answered "Helena Bonham Carter," than you're on the same page as director Mike Newell, who's wooing the twice Oscar-nominated actress.

We can clearly picture Bonham Carter decked out in a decaying wedding dress, surrounded by cobwebs and never-eaten cake. (Just look at our profile photo of her!)

She seems to have been auditioning for the role these last several years, with her turns as dementedly evil Bellatrix Lestrange in the 'Harry Potter' films and, of course, dozens of dramatic grand dames for beau Tim Burton, including Mrs. Lovett in 'Sweeney Todd' and the imperious Queen of Hearts in 'Alice in Wonderland.'
The part of the jilted spinster has been played in previous versions by Jean Simmons, Anne Bancroft and Charlotte Rampling. Although she's often portrayed as very elderly, the character was written as being in her 50s. (Bonham Carter turns 45 this year.)

Newell is also talking to Jeremy Irvine, the relatively unknown star of Steven Spielberg's upcoming 'War Horse,' to play the lead character of orphaned Pip.

Production is expected to start this fall with a planned 2012 release, timed to coincide with Dickens' bicentenary.

Will Bonham Carter make the perfect Miss Havisham?

[Via Variety]

categories Movies