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Article: Jane Austen News - July 2018

Jane Austen News - Issue 141 -
Andrew Davies

Jane Austen News - July 2018

What's the Jane Austen News this week? 

Sanditon Just Down The Road!

There's exciting news for those of us in the South West/Bristol area.

As you probably already know, Andrew Davies, the writer behind behind the likes of the TV adaptations of Pride and Prejudice 1995 and War and Peace has joined the team at Red Planet Pictures who are planning to film a production of Jane's unfinished novel Sanditon. It's set to begin filming in Spring 2019, and who it will star is yet to be announced.

Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died - but what a fragment! Sanditon tells the story of the transformation of a sleepy fishing village into a fashionable seaside resort, with a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress, and quite a bit of nude bathing. It's been a privilege and a thrill for me to develop Sanditon into a TV drama for a modern audience.

Andrew Davies

As it is in it's early stages of planning, not many details are known as of yet about the intricacies of the plot/script/costumes etc. However, the latest news to emerge from the Red Planet Pictures press team is that Bristol is going to be one of the main filming locations for the production! Exciting news since Bath is only half an hour away!

Specific locations in the Bristol area have not yet been named, but adverts have been spotted online calling for Sanditon filming crew at Bottle Yard Studios (a well-established studio based in Whitchurch on the outer fringes of Bristol). Who knows, perhaps a few of the Centre staff may be able to snag roles as extras!
Sanditon tells the story of the impulsive and spirited Charlotte Heywood, and her volatile relationship with the charming Sidney Parker. When a chance accident takes Charlotte from her rural hometown of Willingden to the up-and-coming coastal resort of Sanditon, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the rise, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success.
This will be the first time that Sanditon will have been brought to a television audience. The Jane Austen News is really looking forward to it.

 A New Black Pride and Prejudice Adaptation Is Coming
On November the 5th, Lifetime channel announced that they'll be creating a new, live-action TV movie based on Pride and Prejudice. The new adaptation will be based in Atlanta and will star an all black cast. The new adaptation will be called Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta. Lifetime's adaptation won't be set in the Georgian era, but will be set in the modern era. It will therefore be slightly less vital for Lizzie to find a husband. Although, having said that, the new Mrs. Bennet, as played by Jackée Harry, will be an author of a self-help book that helps women find the "perfect husband." So from the nature of her book, it looks like this Mrs. Bennet will be just as obsessed with marrying her daughters off as the original Mrs. Bennet. In recent years the importance of diversity within the casts on stage and screen has been a hot topic, so this new all black adaptation is great news!
A Clueless Reboot Is Also On The Way Clueless, in case it's not a film you've come across, is a film from 1995 (a good year for Jane Austen adaptations it seems!) and is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma which became something of a cult classic. For some current Jane Austen fans, it was their first introduction to the world of Jane Austen, and it was from that film that they went on to discover Jane's books and other adaptations.
The Clueless storyline focuses on Cher (the equivalent of Emma Woodhouse), who is a charismatic, popular, rich-girl from Beverly Hills. When Cher and her best friend Dionne meet a inept new girl from New Jersey named Tai, they decide to take her under their wing. Cher and Dionne give Tai a makeover and help her learn the ropes of being a popular girl in Beverly Hills, while tackling other issues in their personal lives.
Well, if you are a fan of Clueless, then you might be quite excited to hear that it's about to have a reboot! The Clueless reboot will begin production in 2019 and Marquita Robinson has reportedly been commissioned by Paramount to write the film script. Robinson is the brain behind projects like the smash-hit series GLOW on Netflix, while Girls Trip’s Tracy Oliver will allegedly produce the film. The new production of Clueless may not please all of its original fans though. Part of the reason that the original film became a cult classic was that it parodied to perfection what life as an American teenager in the ‘90s could be. Hopefully Tracy Oliver and Marquita Robinson can capture the comical absurdities of modern teen life in the 2019 version, while also channeling the character of Emma Woodhouse.
And A Brazilian Pride and Prejudice Has Just Been The telenovela Orgulho e Paixão (Pride and Passion) recently finished its six-month run on Brazil's Globo television network and fans are wishing it could have kept going.
Like Pride and Prejudice, the central Benedito family in Orgulho e Paixão has five daughters whom the matriarch Ofélia is keen to see married to appropriate men. Also as in Pride and Prejudice, Elisabeta, is a free spirit ahead of her time who is capable of charming or alienating suitors. But then the disparities started. Only three of the Benedito daughters - Elisabeta, Jane and Lídia - are from P&P novel. The other two - Mariana and Cecília - are from Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey, while Elisabeta's best friend is Ema Cavalcante, from the novel Emma. The lavishly funded drama combined elements from five of Jane Austen's novels to create an Austen extravaganza - Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Lady Susan (writer Marcos Bernstein said he wished he could have integrated a sixth novel, Persuasion, but could not find a way). Orgulho e Paixão also included, as well as many Austen aspects, more controversial topics than those mentioned explicitly in Jane's novels. The telenovela had storylines which included sex, homosexuality and violence. Some of the occurrences were those which would have scandalised society in Austen's day - such as Lídia becoming pregnant before marriage. While some plot lines raised eyebrows even now (in one scene Darcy's mother Julieta overcomes the trauma of having been raped by her husband by having a night of passion with her new fiance, for example), but overall the series was seen as a resounding success.
There were two separate groups, those who thought it was enjoyable and those who were very disappointed as they were hoping for a more faithful adaptation...[but] it was valid as it disseminated the author to a wide Brazilian audience.

Adriana Sales, President of the Jane Austen Society of Brazil

 Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Austen. Here we will feature a variety of items, including craft tutorials, reviews, news stories, articles and photos from around the world.

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