Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is always on the cultural radar. The story of a young woman falling for a guy after she sees his amazing house has proven so timeless that the novel has found a permanent home on bookshelves, and on our screens. Every couple of years the regency romance is re-adapted for the screen with versions dominating Christmas television schedules. The novel has even produced sequels where Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy solve a murder (PD James? Death Comes to Pemberley) and has been reinvented for the nine-to-five woman in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Lizzie Bennet has also been a vlogging sensation. There’s even a zombie version – more about that later though. However, it’s the time travel spin that got our aerials perking. ITV’s Lost in Austen from 2008 told the story of Amanda, a modern London girl working in a bank who found escape from the monotony of her life and deadbeat boyfriend in the pages of the classic novel. So obsessed is Amanda that she ends up finding Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom and for some reason a life swap ensues. Amanda ends up drinking at a ball, attracting all the gentlemen with her anachronistic leggings, bumps into the fearsome Mr. Darcy and sends the whole novel askew when she finds herself falling for him. It was super fun and caught Hollywood’s notice too.
Pride, Prejudice and Bangs – Lost in Austen is set to make the trip to Brooklyn
A movie remake was one of Nora Ephron’s unfinished scripts at the time of her death in 2012 and Variety reported yesterday that Portlandia star and co-creator Carrie Brownstein will now be writing the Lost in Austen movie. Sam Mendes is producing and this time the modern day parts move to Brooklyn so expect Mr. Darcy to ask what a hipster is.
Lily James is set to become the latest actress to take on Elizabeth Bennet
Meanwhile the screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride, Prejudice and Zombies ? it’s the regency romance with added zombie killing and martial arts, yes – is finally getting it’s move on according to Deadline. The production has been in development since the book’s release in 2009 and has been through a lot of treatments with American Hustle director David O. Russell attached at one stage and Natalie Portman, Lily Collins and Emma Stone on board to take the lead. However, yesterday saw the script shake its stagnancy with principal photography kicking off next month and Burr Steers of indie hit Igby Goes Down directing. The cast is a veritable list of who’s who when it comes to young British actors to be keeping an eye on. Downton Abbey‘s Lily James joins the ranks of actresses such as Keira Knightley and Jennifer Ehle to portray literature’s most likeable female. (Sidenote: Ehle of the 1995 BBC adaptation that is our Netflix go-to will also be starring as Anastasia Steele’s mother in next year’s Fifty Shades movie.) Sam Riley, who won critical plaudits for his role in Control a few years ago, is Mr. Darcy. Rising Australian star, and former Neighbours cast member, Bella Heathcote will take on the part of Elizabeth’s sister.
Despite the long wait we have good feelings about this one.
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun