Mike Newell (director)

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Mike Newell
Mike Newell.jpg
Newell at WonderCon 2010
Michael Cormac Newell

(1942-03-28) 28 March 1942 (age 79)
St Albans, England
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
OccupationDirector, producer
Years activec. 1960–present
Notable work
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Donnie Brasco
Pushing Tin
Mona Lisa Smile
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Great Expectations
(m. 1980)
AwardsBAFTA Award for Best Direction
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Michael Cormac Newell (born 28 March 1942) is an English film and television director and producer. He won the BAFTA for Best Direction for Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), which also won the BAFTA Award for Best Film, and directed the films Donnie Brasco (1997) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005).[1]

Early life[edit]

Newell was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, as the son of amateur actors,[2] and was educated at St Albans School. He read English at Magdalene College, Cambridge.[3][4] He then attended a three-year training course at Granada Television with the intention of entering the theatre.


Newell directed various British TV shows from the 1960s onwards (such as Spindoe, credited as Cormac Newell, and Big Breadwinner Hog), but eventually shifted his focus to film direction.

His first feature-length project was The Man in the Iron Mask (1977), a made-for-television film. His first critically acclaimed movie was Bad Blood (1981), concerning the 1941 manhunt for the New Zealand mass-killer Stan Graham played by Jack Thompson. This was followed by Dance with a Stranger (1985), a biographical drama starring Miranda Richardson as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the UK. For his directorial efforts, Newell won the Award of the Youth at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

Newell continued his successes in the film industry with Enchanted April (1991), an adaptation of the 1922 novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. Miranda Richardson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and Joan Plowright won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.

During this period, George Lucas recruited Newell as one of the numerous feature film directors to direct episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

The comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) was also critically acclaimed, winning numerous awards, including a César Award (Best Foreign Film), a Golden Globe (Best ActorHugh Grant), and a number of London Critics Circle Film Awards (Best Director, Film, Producer, and Screenwriter).

Since these award-winning productions, Newell has directed a number of films in Hollywood, such as Donnie Brasco (1997) (starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp), Pushing Tin (1999) (starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, and Angelina Jolie) and Mona Lisa Smile (2003) (starring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, and Julia Stiles).

In 2005, Newell was presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts by the University of Hertfordshire which has a campus in St Albans, his birthplace. He was also awarded the BAFTA Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing for his career prior to 2005.[5] Newell became the first British director of the Harry Potter film series with the production of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth adaptation in the series, which became a major critical and financial success worldwide. Newell is heard briefly as the radio announcer at the beginning of the film.

Newell directed Love in the Time of Cholera in 2007 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in 2010. In February 2011, Newell attended the British Academy Film Awards along with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, David Barron, David Yates, Alfonso Cuarón, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson to collect the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema on behalf of the Harry Potter film series.[6]

Continuing to work on adaptations, Newell directed Great Expectations (2012) from the novel by Charles Dickens with Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, and Jeremy Irvine in starring roles.[7][8][9][10][11] The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.[12]

On Christmas Day in 2016, Newell appeared as a contestant on a special episode of the BBC's University Challenge, representing his alma mater, Magdalene College, Cambridge.[4]



Year Title Director Executive Producer Notes
1980 The Awakening Yes No Directorial debut
1981 Bad Blood Yes No
1985 Dance with a Stranger Yes No
The Good Father Yes No
1987 Amazing Grace and Chuck Yes No
1988 Soursweet Yes No
1991 Enchanted April Yes No
1992 Into the West Yes No
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Yes No BAFTA Award for Best Direction
1995 An Awfully Big Adventure Yes No
1997 Donnie Brasco Yes No
Photographing Fairies No Yes
1999 200 Cigarettes No Yes
Pushing Tin Yes No
Best Laid Plans No Yes
2000 High Fidelity No Yes
Traffic No Yes
2003 I Capture the Castle No Yes
Mona Lisa Smile Yes No
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Yes No Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Director
2007 Love in the Time of Cholera Yes No
2010 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Yes No
2012 Great Expectations Yes Yes
2014 Enchanted Kingdom 3D No Yes Documentary film
2018 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Yes No


As director[edit]

Year(s) Title Notes
1964 Sharon TV movie documentary
Comedy Workshop: Love and Maud Carver TV movie
1966 Coronation Street TV series, 8 episodes
1967 The Fellows TV series, 5 episodes
Escape TV series, 1 episode
The Kindness of Strangers TV movie
1967–1981 ITV Playhouse TV series, 4 episodes
1968 Spindoe TV series, 4 episodes
Them Down There TV movie
City '68 TV series, 2 episodes
Her Majesty's Pleasure TV series, 5 episodes
The Visitors TV movie
The Gamekeeper TV movie
69 Murder – The Blood Relation TV movie
1969 Big Breadwinner Hog TV series, 6 episodes
Parkin's Patch TV series, 2 episodes
Blood Relations TV movie
1969–1970 ITV Saturday Night Theatre TV series, 2 episodes
1970 Confession TV series, 2 episodes
Diamond Crack Diamond TV series, 1 episode
The Adventures of Don Quick TV series, 1 episode
Arthur Wants You for a Sunbeam TV movie
1971 The Guardians TV series, 2 episodes
Mrs. Mouse, Are You Within? TV movie
Big Soft Nelly Mrs. Mouse TV movie
1971–1972 Thirty-Minute Theatre TV series, 2 episodes
Budgie TV series, 6 episodes
1972 The Man from Haven TV series
1972–1978 Play for Today TV series, 6 episodes
1973 Love Story TV series, 2 episodes
Hadleigh TV series, 2 episodes
Late Night Theatre TV series, 3 episodes
Wessex Tales TV mini-series, 1 episode
1974 Childhood TV series, 1 episode
Baa Baa Black Sheep TV movie
The Gift of Friendship TV movie
Late Night Drama TV series, 2 episodes
1975 BBC2 Playhouse TV series, 1 episode
The Boundary TV movie
The Midas Connection TV movie
Comedy Premiere TV series, 1 episode
Lost Yer Tongue? TV movie
1976 Of the Fields, Lately TV movie
Red Letter Day TV series, 1 episode
Second City Firsts TV series, 1 episode
1977 The Man in the Iron Mask TV movie
The Sunday Drama TV series, 1 episode
The Fosdyke Saga TV movie
1978 BBC2 Play of the Week TV series, 1 episode
Little Girls Don't TV movie
1983 Blood Feud TV movie
Birth of a Nation TV movie
1989 Smith and Jones in Small Doses TV series, 1 episode
The Whole Hog TV movie
1990 Common Ground TV movie
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series, 2 episodes
2002 Jo TV movie, also producer
2016 The Interestings TV movie
2019 One Red Nose Day and a Wedding TV Short

As executive producer[edit]

Year(s) Name Notes
2003 The Branch TV series
2004–2006 Huff TV series, 16 episodes


  1. ^ "Mike Newell on Love in the Time of Cholera". ComingSoon.net.
  2. ^ "Mike Newell Biography (1942-)". filmreference.com.
  3. ^ Church Gibson, Pamela. "Newell, Mike (1942-)". Screenonline. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Magdalene, Cambridge v St Hilda's, Oxford". BBC Online. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  5. ^ Mike Newell: BAFTA/LA Archived 16 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Harry Potter Series Receives Prestigious BAFTA". The Lord of the Hallows.
  7. ^ Ralph Fiennes In Talks For Great Expectations Archived 12 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (14 April 2011). "Helena Bonham Carter in 'Great Expectations'? Star in Talks for Miss Havisham Role". HuffPost. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Jeremy Irvine Meeting Great Expectations, Helena Bonham Carter also in talks". Empire Online. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  10. ^ Sneider, Jeff (14 April 2011). "'War' star Irvine meets 'Expectations'". Variety. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  11. ^ "Number 9's slate includes new Neil Jordan vampire film". ScreenDaily. 15 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Preceded by Harry Potter film director
Succeeded by