This week, film director Peter Jackson has released his version of the classic story of Oliver Twist, but as usual he has added his own unique take on the tale. Most critics have panned the film as being outrageous, excessive and completely untrue to the original novel, rather like most of Jackson's other films. He is best known for gaudy fantasy films The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as an over-the-top remake of King Kong.
The new Oliver Twist film is inexplicably set in New Zealand. In it, Oliver visits his cousin Dingus who is being pursued by orcs. Throughout the action-packed film, Oliver and the other orphans constantly must battle orcs while trying to scrape together enough gruel to eat.
Jackson defended his interpretation of the story, saying, "When I read the book, and actually I haven't read it yet, but when I do read it, I'm sure that with every word I'll see that Dickens wanted to add lots of action sequences involving orcs. He just didn't know how to do it. So I've put that in for him. After all, people don't come to the cinema to see a story or get to know a character. They just want to see orcs fighting. For five hours, which is how long the film lasts."
He is also working on new versions of other Dickens novels, including Great Expectations, in which an angry Mrs Haversham takes revenge on a band of orcs who ruined her wedding; and Bleak House, in which a long-running court case is continually disrupted by orcs.