Jane Austen and screen adaptations seem to go together like bread and butter: from the iconic Pride and Prejudice TV series that made Colin Firth a household name, to Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility, and modernised versions of her works like Clueless.
It’s no surprise then that Netflix wants to get a piece of the Austen pie, with a new adaptation of one of her lesser known novels, Persuasion. Releasing in July, the film stars Dakota Johnson in the lead role of Anne Elliot, a 27 year old who starts to reconnect with Captain Frederick Wentworth, her former fiancé whom she has not seen in several years.
The final Austen novel and published after the author’s death, Persuasion is often considered her most mature work, with Anne being her oldest heroine. The material then is ripe for a meaty period drama, and the images released so far certainly indicate Netflix is throwing a lot into the production. Lavish sets and extravagant costumes will provide plenty of eye candy as the drama and Austen dialogue unfolds.
Joining Johnson in the cast are Henry Golding, Cosmo Jarvis, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Richard E Grant. The whole thing is being helmed by Carrie Cracknell, who’s mostly been known by her theatre work at the Young Vic and on Broadway, with this being her film debut. While it’ll be faithful to the original novel, the film will also be somewhat “updated and modernised” to fit into our modern age- though don’t expect anything too drastically different.
The film will also be somewhat "updated and modernised" from the book...
The official Netflix synopsis for the film is “Living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy, Anne Elliot is an unconforming woman with modern sensibilities. When Frederick Wentworth—the dashing one she once sent away—crashes back into her life, Anne must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances. Adapted from the Jane Austen novel.”
It’s only been a couple of years since the latest film version of Emma, which helped launch the career of Anna Taylor Joy, was in cinemas, so Austen fans will be rejoicing at the chance for a new version of one of her classic novels. With Bridgerton having dominated romantic period dramas in the streaming era, it’s time for the return of the original queen of the genre.
WATCH PERSUASION WHEN IT RELEASES ON 15th JULY