Reed, who gave a mesmerising performance in the 1968 musical adaptation of the CHARLES DICKENS classic, was hailed as the definitive Dickens scoundrel.
But Foreman, 46, believes Reed's characterisation was limited by having to conform to the musical genre.
He says, "I didn't feel under pressure to live up to him. His part was a lot more about singing and dancing.
"I got to make mine a more rounded character. I gave it more dimension and focused on the danger and dark side of Victorian society.
"This film is a lot more about the different sides of human nature than previous productions."