Bridgerton's massive success made way for a new wave of period dramas, and the most obvious direction to go was with a new crop of Jane Austen film adaptations. Already, Netflix has announced a new Pride and Prejudice adaptation, The Netherfield Girls, starring Never Have I Ever's Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as a modern-day Lizzie Bennett. Now, the first images for Netflix's Persuasion are also here, with casting news and hints of when fans might see a trailer and a release date.
Jane Austen wrote six novels in her time (seven if you count the unfinished Sanditon), the most famous of which is the aforementioned Pride and Prejudice. But Persuasion is a cult favorite among the Austen fandom. For one thing, the heroine, Anne Elliot, is much older than the heroines of Austen's other books. Unlike her earlier heroines (Lizzie, the titular Emma, and Sense and Sensibility's Dashwood sisters), Anne Elliot is no longer considered eligible for marriage when the book begins.
The romance between Anne and Captain Wentworth is a second chance at love. Seven years before the novel's events, Anne and Wentworth were in love and engaged to be married. But Wentworth's young age and low status were an issue for the Elliot family, and Anne was persuaded to end it. Now, they've met again, and the sparks are flying, but the hearts are wary.
Here’s what else to know about Netflix’s adaptation of the tale:
Although there is not yet a trailer for the movie, there are first-look images, including a pic of actor Cosmo Jarvis as Anne’s old flame, Wentworth.
But Wentworth isn’t the only man in Anne’s orbit. There’s also William Elliot, played by Henry Golding. Mr. Elliot is a distant and wealthy relation, who stands to inherit the Elliot fortune since Anne’s father, Sir Walter, has had only daughters. (Think Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey, who wakes up one morning and discovers he’s the closest living male relative who is suddenly the heir to the Grantham estate.)
Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades) leads the cast of persuasion as Anne, the middle Elliot sister and the one who finds herself caught between her old flame Wentworth and the new hotness of Mr. Elliot. As noted above, Jarvis, who Netflix fans will know from Season 5 of Peaky Blinders, plays the man Anne spurned, while Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) plays the surprise new option.
But they aren’t the only names attached to the project. Suki Waterhouse (The White Princess), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Nikki Amuka-Bird (Jupiter Ascending) were also announced cast members in May 2021. Deadline also announced a further round of actors for the movie’s cast on June 4, 2021, including Edward Bluemel (A Discovery of Witches), Lydia Rose Bewley (Drunk History), and Yolanda Kettle (Marcella).
It’s unclear just how close the movie will follow the source material, but here’s what we know about the book: The plot of the novel begins when the Elliot family falls on financially hard times. Of the family’s three daughters, only the youngest, Mary, got married (to Charles, a suitor Anne rejected years before because she did not love him). Anne’s other sister, Elizabeth, is a society beauty and expects to be eventually matched to someone wealthy. (However, the reality is that she’s spent the last decade managing the estate in place of her late mother and her extravagant tastes are why the family is struggling.)
To mitigate their money woes, the family moves to Bath and takes on lodgers in their home. Moving about the social circles in Bath, the family runs into Captain Wentworth, Anne’s old lover, now a respected Navy veteran and man of far greater importance than the family assumed he would ever be. He is also, conveniently, in search of a wife.
But Anne’s luck isn’t just in her exes; she also has a new prospect. Mr. Elliot initially turns up at Sir Walter’s invitation with the assumption they’re going to offer him Elizabeth. (Again, think Downton Abbey and how the Crawleys pushed Lady Mary to marry Matthew and solve all the family’s problems.) He is, conveniently, a widower and on the prowl for a second wife.
Persuasion Release Date
Netflix has not yet announced a release date for Persuasion, but with production having begun in May 2021 and Netflix’s tendency toward year-long lead times, it’s a good bet viewers will see the film come 2022.