Click here to enter my other blog: Jane Austen's World.

Thursday, December 30

All I Want for the New Year ... Is More Jane Austen

For me, the past few years have offered a cornucopia of Jane Austen film and television adaptations. I began blogging when the Jane Austen Book Club was being filmed.  In 2007, PBS offered Jane Austen season, and I was in seventh heaven watching the remakes of Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. In 2008 we viewed Sense and Sensibility and Miss Austen Regrets, and 2009 gave us Lost in Austen. Earlier in 2010 we watched Emma. What joy!

In January of 2011 we can expect the theatrical release of Prada to Nada, a modern Latino take on Sense and Sensibility, and there are rumblings that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will actually be made. But then, I fear, the future of Jane Austen film making will hit a dry spell.

Oh, book publishers are printing plenty of Jane Austen sequels and prequels and mysteries, and the like. Excellent anthologies, such as A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Authors on Why We Read Jane Austen, have been released. Collateral series, such as Amanda Vickery's At Home With the Georgians, provide us with insights about life during the time of Jane Austen, but ... what does the cinematic future hold for Janeites who simply can't get enough of Jane Austen's writing and her characters? Here is my wish list, if producers are paying attention:

Rachel Hurd Wood as Catherine?
A remake of Northanger Abbey: Let's finally do justice to Jane's fine Gothic tale, and give this novel enough time to develop cinematically in a two-part, four-hour series. Let's take advantage of Henry Tilney's wit and young Catherine's wide-eyed innocence, and leave the overblown Gothic scenes to the first two inadequate NA adaptations.

The casting of Henry Tilney would be crucial, although I did fall a little in love with J.J. Feild in the woefully short 2007 ITV remake.

Minnie Driver as Lady Susan?
Lady Susan: I think a film with Jane's anti-heroine at its center would be quite popular in this cynical age. More Dangerous Liaisons than Persuasion, Lady Susan and her machinations will strike a chord with modern audiences, who will see Jane Austen's talent for creating vivid characters in a new light.

Cassandra's drawings
The History of England: Young Jane's irreverent chronicle of the History of England would be a delightful basis for a tongue in cheek cartoon in the tradition of South Park or ( for those of you who are old enough to remember) Rocky and Bullwinkle, which you can see on YouTube.

Using Cassandra's drawings, I can see this short book translated into a rollicking 1/2 hour of fun that is sure to go viral with history fans.

What say you?


devonaz said...

I agree I could use more Jane Austen...I have watched most of the classics,,and will watch and read more of Jane Austen this year,,my read for 2010 was very off,,and I am hoping to pick it up alot more this coming year..we can only hope that someone out there hears our pleas for more Jane Austen..till then happy watching and reading..

Eliza Martin said...

I think you have some great ideas there. I particularly like the last two.

Nonna Beach said...

I agree and my goal for 2011 is to read all her novels again and see as many versions of the novels on DVD too. It all makes me smile as I enjoy...My other goal is to introduce Jane Austen to someone who has never discovered how great she is !

Thank you for another great year at "Jane Austen Today"...I loved every moment of my time spent here...

Have a Happy New Year and blessings of happiness, comfort and joy for you all in 2011 !


Miss Laurie said...

As a Janite who's favorite novel is Northanger Abbey I have to say YES! to a new adaptation. So far no one has captured Northanger Abbey or Henry Tilney correctly. I did really like Felicity Jones and Carey Mulligan in the 2007 NA.
Lady Susan is another favorite that I think could be done incredibly well! An actress like Minnie Driver could capture Lady Susan perhaps.
I still long to see Fanny Price represented faithfully in another Mansfield Park adaptation. If someone could just get her casted and acted correctly I could bear all manner of evils to the other characters.

Southerner said...

Just for a fleeting moment, Vic, I thought that picture of Rachel Hurd was you.

Oh well, If the worst comes to the worst we could all hunker down and read Northanger Abbey again, slowly, and try and find some new level and meaning. We might have missed something the last....number of times we read it. There is always something more to discover in great literature.


Amused said...

I love your ideas for re-makes!

Charity U said...

Mmm, Lady Susan...I just finished that book. It sure is different from Jane Austen's others! But I think it could be a very interesting movie.

myownmania said...

I really love 07 NA. But I think it's better by itself than as a contender with 95 PP for best Austen adaption.

however, JJ Feild....*drifts off to daydream*

Mags said...

I wish you could see the play of NA written by Lynn Marie Macy--she juxtaposes the scenes from NA with scenes from Udolpho and it's just wonderful. Also fall-down hilarious. I've seen two different productions of it and it really does a good job capturing not only the letter but the spirit of the original.

Melody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melody said...

Above all, I would wish for a movie of The Watsons or Sanditon - finished by someone who would be true to Jane Austen's style & likely plans for the stories. =)