Steven Knight, Ridley Scott and Tom Hardy will adapt Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” as a limited series for FX and BBC, the networks announced Wednesday.
One of Dickens’ most memorable works, “Great Expectations” is the coming-of-age story of an orphan nicknamed Pip. Dickens first released it in a series of weekly chapters beginning in December 1860 before it was subsequently published as a novel.
No stars are currently attached to the FX and BBC limited series, but casting is set to begin soon.
Knight will write the six-part adaptation and executive produce alongside Ridley Scott, Tom Hardy, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker, Kate Crowe and Mona Qureshi for the BBC. Marina Brackenbury serves as co-executive producer.
The series hails from FX Productions in association with the BBC, Scott Free and Hardy Son & Baker.
“Great Expectations” is the second in a series of Dickens adaptations commissioned by FX and BBC, with the first being last year’s “A Christmas Carol,” which was also written by Knight and produced by Ridley Scott and Tom Hardy. That TV adaptation, starring Guy Pearce as Ebenezer Scrooge, delivered a total audience of more than 10 million viewers across linear and non-linear channels last December, according to FX.
“Adapting Dickens’ work is a delight. I chose ‘Great Expectations’ as the next work to bring to the screen not just because of the timeless characters, but also because of the very timely story,” Knight said. “A story of class mobility and class intransigence told through an intensely emotional and personal first-person narrative. As the son of a Blacksmith myself, Pip’s journey from the forge into society is a very special one to me.”
“FX is honored to begin the next chapter of collaboration with Steven Knight, Ridley Scott, Tom Hardy and their teams as they reunite for this modern adaption of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations,” Eric Schrier, president of FX Entertainment, added. “Their inaugural Dickens adaptation, ‘A Christmas Carol,’ was a great success both creatively and commercially. We want to thank our partners at the BBC, Scott Free and Hardy Son & Baker for their support and can’t wait to get to work on this project.”
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: “‘Great Expectations’ is the second in Steven Knight’s series of Dickens adaptations and the perfect choice given its timely and personal narrative. His original take on one of Britain’s most-loved classics will make it must-see drama for a whole new generation.”