The film is a co-production between BBC Films, Focus Features and Ruby Films. The script by Moira Buffini appeared on the 2008 Brit List, a film-industry-compiled list of the best unproduced screenplays in British film. The adaptation is expected to stick closely to the book. However, the character of Blanche Ingram is less conniving than in the novel.
In November 2009 it was revealed that Mia Wasikowska would star as the title character and Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester. Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Imogen Poots, Holliday Grainger and Tamzin Merchant also joined the cast.
In October 2009, it was announced that Cary Fukunaga would direct the adaptation. The adaptation will play up the Gothic elements of the classic novel. Fukunaga stated, "I’ve spent a lot of time rereading the book and trying to feel out what Charlotte Brontë was feeling when she was writing it. That sort of spookiness that plagues the entire story... there’s been something like 24 adaptations, and it’s very rare that you see those sorts of darker sides. They treat it like it’s just a period romance, and I think it’s much more than that."
Principal photography began on March 22, 2010 and concluded in mid-May. Filming locations include London and various locations in Derbyshire, including Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, Derbyshire Dales, Froggatt, and Fox House (Sheffield). The score is composed by Academy Award winner Dario Marianelli.