Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Emma Adaptation


"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."

A new adaptation of Emma is planned to begin filming this Spring and air in Autumn 2009 on the BBC. This four part miniseries is to be adapted by Sandy Welch of Our Mutual Friend, Jane Eyre, and North And South fame.

The biggest question is as to cast. The greater part of Janeites are wishing for actor Richard Armitage to play Mr. Knightley. I'm personally not sure about him. I loved him as Mr. Thornton in North & South but with his rugged accent and dark good looks he's just not my picture of Mr. Knightley. I think of Mr. Knightley as a bit homely or at least the picture of an English gentleman farmer. A man not immediately thought handsome but grows so on closer aquaintance. Not someone who you'd think would be a match for Emma.

Someone I had suggested on my favorite Jane Austen blog was soon set down as unsuitable and too young. Below are some of my suggestions for cast. Which are your favorites/suggestions?

Mr. Knightley:
Richard Armitage - not my first choice but here he is all the same.

Benedict Cummerbatch - I started really liking him in a recent Miss Marple show and was thinking of his potential as an Austen character.

Emma Woodhouse:
bella in dress
Carey Mulligan - loved her a Kitty Bennet and Isabella Thorpe and I'd love to see her as an Austen heroine. She has the charming smile and kind heart of Emma. I think she'd be quite lovely.

Georgia King - played Rosamond Oliver in Jane Eyre and Pet in Little Dorrit. Not sure I want another blonde Emma though.

Emma Griffiths Malin
Emma Griffiths Malin - played several similar characters to Emma and I'm not sure about her age. She played Fleur in The Forsythe Saga.

Harriet Smith:
mariat in dress
Shauna Taylor - played Maria Thorpe in Northanger Abbey, I think based on appearance only she could play a lovely innocent Miss Smith.

Mr. Elton:
will in dress
Tobias Menzies - he was great as Mr. Elliot and I'd like to see him charming other Austen ladies.

Jane Fairfax:
Emma Pierson -In Little Dorrit played she played Fanny Dorrit, a flirt and highly made up character but I just found this photo and thought she might be a good Jane Fairfax or perhaps Mrs. Elton. ;)

Amelia Warner - Loved her as Lorna Doone and wished she could have been Fanny Price instead of Frances O'Connor but perhaps she'd make a good Miss Fairfax.

Claire Foy - So beautiful as Amy Dorrit and I want to see more of her. I think she's be perfect as Jane Fairfax, it's a similar character as Little Dorrit anyway.

Miss Bates:
Julia Mackenzie
Julia McKenzie - too old though I fear, she'd have been perfect at a younger age.

It's actually quite hard to find suggestions, but other cast doesn't matter so much. Some fresh new faces are in order as well. Either way I can't wait to see who they cast. The script should be excellent though, if not the very words of Jane Austen then the essence of her meaning. It couldn't come soon enough for me.


Edit to add:
I was thinking about who could play Mr. Woodhouse and I thought of the guy who played Mr. Dorrit in Little Dorrit.

Mr. Woodhouse:
Sir Tom Courtenay - he's 72 year old on the 25th but I think he'd do very well at capturing Mr. Woodhouse's pessimistic health conscious ways.


Ana Smith said...

I don't know about Benedict Cummerbatch, he'd probably do all right. But, I've only seen him in Amazing Grace, and that picture's not going over to well for me as Knightley.

I'd love to see Carey Mulligan as Emma. She was great in Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House! I love her youthfulness and joy.

dmw said...

I can easily see Richard Armitage as Mr. K - his chameleon-like performances make him someone to think of. The hunky image that has pinned itself to him notwithstanding, I think he would bring depth and character to the role... don't count him out... because he's cute.

Marqueta said...

Hello there!

I just discovered your blog and had to add you to my "Old-fashioned Places to Visit" sidebar! You've gone through a lot of work, I can tell.



The Editrix said...

Okay, I recently re-watched P&P 2005, and I got a few more ideas:

Talulah Riley, who played Mary Bennet. She's in her early twenties, about the right age. She's also quite pretty - in P&P they made her look as plain as possible, but do a google image search for her and you'll see how beautiful she really is.

Tamzyn Merchant, who played Georgiana Darcy - I could see her as Harriet Smith.

Oh, and maybe Rupert Friend (Wickham) as Frank Churchill. . . ah, now that is a fascinating question to ponder - who will be Frank Churchill? ______ < insert name of handsome young British actor here. There are so many guys who could play him! I wonder who it will be. . .

A few others:

Kimberley Nixon, who played Sophy Hutton in Cranford. She might be alright as Emma.

Victoria Hamilton, who has been in gazillions of period movies, might be good as Miss Bates.

The guy who plays Margaret's father in North and South could be Mr. Woodhouse.

Okay, I'd better stop now. This comment is getting awfully long. :P

Laurie: I love Tobias Menzies as Mr Elton! Perfect!

Amelia Warner as Jane Fairfax - that would be interesting. She's so beautiful, I'd love to see her in another movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch. . . yeah, I just think he might be a bit too young. He's only in his early thirties, Mr. Knightley is supposed to be like 37. . .

And I think Sir Tom Courtenay would be wonderful as Mr. Woodhouse! :-D


Melody said...

I'm reading Mansfield Park right now...I wonder if Claire Foy would make a good Fanny? She was so good as Amy, and Fanny keeps reminding me of Amy. :) She might even be good as Mary Crawford, as far as looks go (Mary is supposed to be pretty and small with dark hair.)

But somebody should make a new movie of MP!!

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