Sunday, March 25, 2007

Northanger Abbey, with Felicity Jones and JJ Feild

Tonight sees the second of ITV's Austen adapations, Northanger Abbey, starring Felicity Jones as Catherine and JJ Feild as Henry.

The script has been hanging around for eight or nine years.Written by Andrew Davies, who wrote the phenomenally successful screenplay of Pride and Prejudice, which starred Colin Firth, it was originally written for Weekend Television. Then Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films optioned it, added drafts from other writers such as Martin Amis, but eventually abandoned the project.

This just goes to show how expensive it is to make period dramas, and how difficult it is to get them on TV, because if Andrew Davies, with a huge hit behind him, couldn't get his work on TV, then what hope for anyone else? But the wheel turned. Attitudes at ITV changed. People changed. And Austen was 'in' again.

The new adaptation stars Felicity Jones, who will play 17-year-old Catherine Morland. Andrew Davies said he was "completely blown away" by Jones's audition tape. "She is absolutely delightful to look at. She is possibly slightly too pretty for Catherine. With all that radio experience, she had absolutely wonderful diction. Every word is crystal clear. I'm really thrilled we've got her. I think she's a terrific discovery."

It sounds promising. But we'll just have to wait and see . . . .

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to this one. It has an Andrew Davies script and he rarely lets us down. Over at the C19 board, they're quite excited about this and the upcoming Persuasion although they unanimously hated Mansfield Park!

Melinda said...

I thought this adaptation was super! Thoroughly enjoyed the humour and racy script. Well done Andrew D

Jane O said...

I really enjoyed this-Andrew Davies can do no wrong as far as I am concerned. I thought Felicity Jones was perfect!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this one. So much better than Mansfield Park last week. Acting in Northanger Abbey was excellent whereas it was atrocious in MP

Rachel Reed said...

I agree with you all (even the C19 person!), this was a great adaptation.

Chalk and cheese comparing this with Mansfield Park.

I can't wait to see Persuasion though - my fav JA novel. (Oh and Rupert Penry-Jones)

wendy said...

I agree: it was very entertaining. Let's hope it inspires a few more people to delve into JA's delightful books.

Rita said...

Just finished watching North South and I am thinking, wouldn't it be scrumptious to have Richard Armitage play Frederick from Persuasion?

Rita