Mike Newell speaks about ‘Great Expectations’ casting, budgets, and criticism

Following the various interviews given by Harry Potter actors such as Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltrane, the latest addition to the Great Expectations interview vault is that of none other than the director himself: Mike Newell. Newell, known for his direction of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, has given an interview with Den of Geek that delves into some of the casting choices for Great Expectations, his vision for the classic novel’s film portrayal, the relentless flood of budget problems, and some of his possible future projects.

This interview also provides a small glimpse into the events leading to Ralph Fiennes agreeing to the role of Voldemort in the final five Potter films. Newell says that upon approaching Fiennes for the role, Fiennes said ‘I don’t know, let me come out and watch some of the rushes with you’. In response to Fiennes’ request, Newell says:

What I think he was watching was whether we were taking it seriously or not, you know, was it some king of camp flip around a Harry Potter novel, and it wasn’t, we were doing a drama, we were doing a proper drama.

David Nicholls has adapted this version of the classic Charles Dickens novel, and stars, among those previously mentioned, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irvine, and Holliday Grainger. Great Expectations will be released in Ireland on November 30.

What are you expecting from this adaptation of the novel? Do you have any thoughts on Newell’s comments regarding some of the distinct choices he made for the film?