2012 isn't just the end of the world as marked by the Mayan calendar, but an event even more important, at least according to your 11th grade English teacher. That's right, it's Charles Dickens's 200th birthday! And to celebrate it there won't just be the usual artsy fartsy thing-- an entire Dickens season on the BBC, a retrospective from the British Film Institute-- but a feature film you're actually likely to see. According to THR Mike Newell, the director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Prince of Persia, will be tackling a new adaptation of Great Expectations, the Dickens novel most recently adapted in 1998 with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke starring.

The article describes Newell's film as "a fresh take" on the story, about a poor orphan who makes his way up through society thanks to a mysterious benefactor, and who carries a torch for the beautiful Estella for years. It's unclear exactly how he might change the material, though given that it's all part of a massive Dickens celebration, it seems unlikely they'll do some kind of wild or particularly modern version. The film is due out in 2012, so if you have some fantasy casting decisions in your back pocket, now's the time to bring 'em out!

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