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David Nicholls changes ending of Great Expectations

18th November 2011

One Day author David Nicholls, who has written the screenplay for the new big screen adaptation of Great Expectations, has revealed he has changed the ending of Charles Dickens' beloved tale.

Originally, Dickens wrote two endings to Great Expectations, but Nicholls said he has attempted to strike a balance by creating a conclusion that is 'somewhere between the two'.

Although Nicholls aimed to remain faithful to the source material, he said it was important not to impose an 'anachronistic genre' onto Dickens, which meant changing some elements of the novel during adaptation.

'Dickens came up with two endings - one which is incredibly bleak and one which is unrealistically romantic and sentimental. Neither is quite satisfactory and we've come up with an ending that isn't in the book,' he revealed.

The writer said it draws on events in the book but 'takes them in a slightly different direction'.

However, Nicholls, speaking at the launch of the BFI's Dickens on Screen season, said the new adaptation would be 'in no way sacrilegious'.

The film, which is directed by Mike Newell, is currently being shot in the UK, starring Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as convict-turned-benefactor Magwitch, with newcomer Jeremy Irvine as the protagonist Pip.

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