British actress Romola Garai (Atonement, Daniel Deronda) will star as the "handsome, clever and rich" Emma Woodhouse in BBC One’s new production of Jane Austen’s comedic masterpiece Emma. The four hour miniseries adapted by Sandy Welch will be filmed on location in Kent and Surry and will air in the UK next autumn. There is a good chance that it will be picked up by PBS for its Masterpiece Classic season next winter, so keep your fingers crossed.
Also staring will be Jonny Lee Miller (Byron, Eli Stone, Trainspotting) as Emma’s reproachful neighbor Mr. Knightley, Michael Gambon (Cranford, Gosford Park) as our favorite valetudinarian Mr. Woodhouse, Tamsin Greig (The Diary Of Anne Frank, Green Wing) as the ever chatty Miss Bates, Jodhi May (The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard, Aristocrats) as Emma’s former governess Miss Taylor who marries Mr. Weston played by Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, White Teeth, My Dad's The Prime Minister).
No word yet on their choice of a Jane Fairfax or Frank Churchill, two key characters in the novel. Personally, their choice of casting of Harriet Smith will make or break this production for me, so I am all anticipation.
This new adaptation will be the first full length miniseries since the 1972 BBC production staring Doran Godwin as Emma Woodhouse and John Carson as her Mr. Knightley. Interestingly, it is the last of Jane Austen’s six major novels to be filmed since the turn of the century, and appears from its production values, that the last one is certainly not the least.
Emma will be directed by Jim O'Hanlon, produced by George Ormond and executive produced by Phillippa Giles.
Cheers, Laurel Ann, Austenprose