Winstone joins ‘Great Expectations’

BBC co-produces with PBS's Masterpiece

LONDON — British tough guy actor Ray Winstone is to play escaped convict Magwitch in the BBC’s new three-part TV adaptation of “Great Expectations.”

He is cast alongside rising star Douglas Booth, who plays Pip in the miniseries, a co-pro with PBS’s Masterpiece.

The latest take on the Dickens’ classic is scripted by Sarah Phelps, a writer on the corp.’s flagship soap, “EastEnders.” She recently adapted “Oliver Twist” for the BBC.

“Great Expectations,” made in-house by BBC Drama production, is due to start lensing in London this July, with a U.K. transmission over Christmas.

This will kick start a BBC Dickens celebration to mark the bicentenary of the author’s birth in 2012.

The show is helmed by Brian Kirk, whose credits include HBO drama “Boardwalk Empire.”

The producer is George Ormond, who produced the 2009 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma.”

The executive producers are Anne Pivcevic, who worked on the corp.’s “Little Dorrit,” and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece.

“Great Expectations” was commissioned by Danny Cohen, controller, BBC 1, and Ben Stephenson, controller, BBC drama commissioning.

Other casting will be announced shortly.

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