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Ralph Fiennes Making Charles Dickens Biopic His Sophomore Directorial Effort

Written by on July 18, 2011 

Ralph Fiennes burst onto the acting scene with a considerable bang. He shocked audiences and critics alike with his role as the evil Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List, and has never looked back since, generally seeming to be attracted to eccentric, villainous parts, and that hasn’t changed a bit. Most recently, he has become well known for playing Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, but with that series now having come to a dramatic end, he has decided to have a go behind the camera.

Having recently directed his debut effort, the Shakespeare film Coriolanus, (which garnered great reviews at the Berlin Film Festival and will hit theaters this fall), he is now turning his eyes towards Charles Dickens. However, this is not an adaptation of one of the great writer’s novels (although Fiennes will actually be starring as Magwich in Mike Newell‘s Great Expectations) but a biopic of the affair Dickens had with one Ellen Ternan, a woman over half his age, for more than 13 years. [indieWIRE]

The script is penned by Abi Morgan, and is based upon Claire Tomalin‘s non fiction book. There are no confirmed cast members as of yet but rumours are starting to spread with Carey Mulligan, Imogen Poots, Abbie Cornish and Felicity Jones all possible actresses for the role of Ellen. Out of that list, my choice would be Mulligan, who made a big impression on me in An EducationFiennes himself quashed any rumours of playing Dickens and, despite previous murmurs of Daniel Day-Lewis or Ben Whishaw being considered but Day-Lewis, I think, can be ruled out with the upcoming Lincoln and Silence. Whoever is chosen, I hope it’s an actual British actor and someone who fits the role well.

The film will not begin shooting until at least next year, so don’t expect to see it until late 2013 or early 2014. Coriolanus, however, is due for release December 2nd this year and will be distributed by The Weinstein Company.

What do you think of Fiennes stepping behind the camera? Do you think his Dickens biopic sounds like a good idea?




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