Remember when you HAD to read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in high school? I’m guessing a number of you have re-read it several times as an adult because you actually WANTED to. Whatever the case, it’s probably been awhile since read it or seen one of the numerous big or small screen adaptations. Well, now you can add one more adaptation to the list as the producers of Victoria and Poldark have their sites set on a new adaption of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
There have been five UK television adaptations of Jane Austen’s much-loved book about the Bennet sisters’ search for love so far. According to Mammoth Screen, the new effort will attempt to tease out the story’s ‘darker tones’. “Pride and Prejudice is actually a very adult book, much less bonnet-y than people assume,” said Nina Raine, the critically-acclaimed playwright who will pen the adaptation for ITV.
While dates and cast for the production and broadcast are still to be confirmed, there is a chance the new version could air in 2020, 25 years since Andrew Davies’ 1995 adaptation for the BBC that starred Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.
In the meantime, just in case you’ve forgotten the storyline, here are the Cliff Notes to refresh your memory before 2020. First up, we have the Bennets.
The Bennets: In Three Words
Jane: Generous, beautiful, serene
Elizabeth: Spirited, intelligent, witty
Mary: Bookish, plain, overlooked
Kitty: Flirty, idle, sidekick
Lydia: Impulsive, vain, spoiled
Mrs. Bennet: Superficial, gossipy, melodramatic
Mr. Bennet: Sarcastic, weary, apathetic
Of course, you then have the Fitzwilliams. First up is Fitzwilliam Darcy.Our prideful and prickly hero, the sexy Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy, was given his mother’s surname (Lady Anne Darcy, née Fitzwilliam) according to the custom of the time among prominent families. He’s big brother to Georgiana, antagonist turned admirer of Elizabeth, and master of Pemberley.
Up next, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s cousin and co-guardian of Georgiana. As the younger son of an Earl, the Colonel is unable to marry freely and is obligated to unite with a woman in possession of a significant fortune. His father is brother to Darcy’s mother Lady Anne and Lady Catherine de Bourgh; hence his surname.
Then we have Wherefore Wickham. As the charming, handsome son of the elder Mr. Darcy’s steward, Wickham grew up as a brother to Darcy and with the support of Mr. Darcy, who even provided him with a gentleman’s education, intending for him to enter the clergy. But not long after both fathers had died, he abandoned the goal and asked Darcy for more money on the pretext of studying law. Wickham then squandered the large sum given him by Darcy, indulging his idle and dissolute ways. Cut off from more money and convinced that Darcy had cheated him out of an inheritance, he intended to seduce Georgiana Darcy and secure her fortune.
Now that you’re caught up with the players, you can sit back and enjoy the ensuing scandal when it arrives in 2020.