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Tuesday, April 8

Hip Hop Austen? Yo Hey Emma!

Hip hop Emma? Just when I was getting all melancholy over the conclusion of The Complete Jane Austen on PBS, hope arrives on the Austen horizon; er aa, well I think that it is hope, but my proprietous brain can not quite bend around the concept of Jane Austen’s novel Emma as a hip hop musical!?! Yes Janeites, the next Austen movie adaptation in the queue is Emma, and Miss Woodhouse shall sing and dance, and get all urban on us!

Screen Gems announced in Variety that they plan to produce a hip-hop musical version of Jane Austen's novel Emma, which will be transported to a modern-day urban high-school attended by a step-brother and sister. The movie, written by Tyger Williams (Menace II Society) will feature at least fifteen song-and-dance numbers and will be directed by Clint Culpepper.

This setting might sound a bit familiar, since Amy Heckerling’s 1995 movie Clueless was set amongst teenage culturally infused, valley speaking, fashion crazed, and matchmaking high-schoolers. So, if you can imagine that movie’s heroine Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) sans designer duds and BMW’s, all urbanized and street wise, hip hopping along with her friends from the hood, then there is hope that this movie will transform Austen’s Emma as successfully as Heckerling’s Clueless did.

So Janeites, if you thought that screenwriter Andrew Davies has really sexed up Austen, hold on to your bonnets, because hip hop is renowned for its provocative and demeaning inflections. I am all anticipation to see what they do with Austen’s outspoken character Mrs. Elton. They just might be able to make her more crass and offensive than Austen envisioned! Nahh…As if!

Read more about the upcoming production:

Emma why ya buggin?
Hip Hop Jane Austen

posted by Laurel Ann, Austenprose

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