Number 9 Films production also stars Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter; starts shooting in the UK on October 10

Holliday Grainger is to play the key role of Estella in Mike Newell’s forthcoming $16m film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

A former Screen International Star Of Tomorrow, the fast-rising Grainger recently starred as Lucrezia Borgia in Neil Jordan’s TV series The Borgias. She has also had roles in Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre and in Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod’s Bel Ami.

The casting was confirmed by producer Elizabeth Karlsen of Number 9 Films.

“She is just an incredibly fine actor and has the beauty that is needed for Estella as well as an extraordinary technical ability,” Karlsen commented.

In taking on the role of Estella, Grainger is following in the footsteps of Jean Simmons, who became a major international star after playing the character in David Lean’s 1946 adaptation, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who played the role in Alfonso Cuaron’s 1998 update.

Shooting on Great Expectations is due to begin on October 10 in and around the London area. Casting already confirmed includes Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Jeremy Irvine as Pip.

HanWay is handling sales and Lionsgate has already taken UK rights.