First look at Olivia Colman in new BBC Great Expectations adaptation

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Olivia Colman looks unrecognisable in the first pictures released for the upcoming BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel Great Expectations.

The Oscar-winning actress, 48, will play the wealthy spinster Miss Havisham in the coming-of-age story about an orphan nicknamed Pip, played by Fionn Whitehead.

The six-part series has been created by Bafta-winning writer Steven Knight and is based on Dickens’ tale, which was first released as a series of weekly chapters beginning in 1860 before it was later published as a novel.

In the first-look images, Colman appears aged with wispy white hair while dressed in an embellished jacket and an ornate headpiece.

For one picture she can be seen holding on to Whitehead’s chin to examine his face as he wears a period-style white shirt and scarf.

While in another Colman uses a cane while Shalom Brune-Franklin, who plays Estella, sits in a chair examining a piece of paper.

They will appear alongside a cast including Ashley Thomas, Johnny Harris, Hayley Squires, Owen McDonnell, Trystan Gravelle, Rudi Dharmalingam and Matt Berry.

Olivia Colman embodies Great Miss Havisham as Shalom Brune-Franklin portrays Estella for the upcoming Great Expectations adaptation (Miya Mizuno/FX Networks/PA)
Olivia Colman embodies Great Miss Havisham as Shalom Brune-Franklin portrays Estella for the upcoming Great Expectations adaptation (Miya Mizuno/FX Networks/PA)

The series will also be executive produced by the team which was behind the BBC’s 2019 adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – Knight, actor Tom Hardy, Sir Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W Zucker, Kate Crowe as well as Tommy Bulfin for the BBC.

Lucy Forbes, who has previously worked on This Is Going To Hurt, will act as lead director, with Mark Kinsella as producer.

Great Expectations will be produced by FX Productions in association with the BBC, Scott Free and Hardy Son & Baker.

A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations are the first two in a series of adaptations of Dickens’ novels that have been commissioned by the BBC and FX Productions.

Filming on the upcoming series continues in the south of England and it is due to air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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