When youre rumoured to be the best paid actor in television (now that Charlie Sheen is devoted to spreading the gospel of win across America) and have become an unlikely sex symbol in your late forties, employing this relatively new-found superstardom on the big-screen can be more than a little tricky. Although onetime Stephen Fry sidekick Hugh Laurie had a movie career prior to the phenomenon that was his portrayal of a misanthropic medic (including the likes of Stuart Little and Maybe Baby), he failed to bring the revelatory small screen gravitas he has acquired since he became Gregory House to the cinema. Lauries one major live-action role since his trans-Atlantic success was David Ayers perfectly adequate, but rather unloved, Street Kings. Now the former presidents of the Footlights is set to try again in an adaptation of Commonwealth Writers Prize winning novel Mr Pip by New Zealander Lloyd Jones. Laurie has been cast in the eponymous lead role of a teacher in war-torn Papua New Guinea who uses Charles Dickens Great Expectations as the basis for his mentorship of a talented pupil. Andrew Adamson (Shrek 2, Narnia 1 & 2) has adapted the novel for the screen which he will eventually direct and enthused of it to The Hollywood Reporter:
I read Mr. Pip on a transatlantic flight and, by the time of landing, knew I would make this film.It's a testament to Lloyds wonderful novel that it has captured the hearts of Hugh, Robin, Leslie and an incredible group of like-minded collaborators.Adamson purchased the rights to the story himself and will be working with a massive team of producers including Leslie Urdang , Dean Vanech (Olympus Pictures, the financiers) and Robin Scholes with execs James Dean (Agio Capital), Daniel Revers (Deer Path Prods)as well as Julie Christie, Tim White and Tim Coddington. The film will begin shooting on location in New Zealand in May during Houses off season.