I am not sure how I missed this news that was apparently released at the end of May. There is to be a new TV miniseries about Pride and Prejudice based on the book Death Comes To Pemberley by mystery writer P.D. James!
News of this miniseries came back in February when it was rumored that Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey) was to play Mr. Darcy but thankfully those rumors seem to be false.
|Crime Writer P.D. James|
Screenplay was written by Juliette Towhidi and it will be directed by Daniel Percival (I've enjoyed a couple of his mystery TV series). Filming starts in Yorkshire, England in June and the three-part miniseries is expected to air on BBC One in the UK around Christmas time.
The most exciting news is that three major cast members have been announced!
Cast Announced So Far:
Matthew Goode as Mr. Wickham
If you've seen He Knew He Was Right then you might remember Matthew as Mr. Brook Burgess (Aunt Stanbury's nephew who takes a liking to Dolly - my favorite story of that miniseries!). He's been in a few other period drama films (Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister, Brideshead Revisited 2008, Copying Beethoven, Marple: A Murder Is Announced) which I don't really recommend but at least we know he has some experience with the costume drama genre. I also really enjoy his witty, slightly cheeky character in the modern romantic comedy film Leap Year (Read My Review) and have been wanting to see him do more period dramas. Overall I think his charming dark looks and charisma will make an irresistible Mr. Wickham!
Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth (Bennet) Darcy
We love her as Esther Summerson in Bleak House, Bessy Higgins in North & South and we think that Cassandra Austen she was the best thing about Becoming Jane. I call her one of my favorite actresses of all time (read my post on Anna) and have been longing to see her play a Jane Austen character such as Anne Elliot in Persuasion. Choosing a very clever actress like Anna to play Lizzy is a great move towards getting this Janeite on board with the whole idea of a P&P sequel. Not sure Anna exactly looks the part of Elizabeth but she should be able to capture much of the character's personality quite well.
Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy
Who is going to play Mr. Darcy is of course the big buzz, it seems to be the focus of the various announcement articles I've been reading online.
I've seen Welsh actor Matthew Rhys in The Abduction Club and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Read My Review). He's also been in a couple other period dramas including a role as Lord Byron in a Regency Era miniseries about style icon of the day Beau Brummell (tried watching it once really don't recommend it) which means he's no stranger to Regency fashions. The characters he's played before seem to have a lot of depth to them so we can have hope that he will do the same for Mr. Darcy.
Matthew Rhys said: “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who've institutionalised him in the past. The beauty of 'Pemberley' is that it is an entirely new and different Darcy 6 years on. (And also, I don't have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches).”
So long as Mr. Darcy doesn't end up being the murderer and as dark as John Jasper in Edwin Drood then Matthew Rhys might be okay.
As I love Jane Austen and murder mysteries this film might be right up my alley, hopefully it will have Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy as the detective figures. And Death Comes To Pemberley (2013) can be considered as separate from P&P because it is a sequel, unlike Lost In Austen (2008) that just messed with the original story so badly. And if there's several nods to Pride & Prejudice (1995) then I'd like it even more! :)
What are your thoughts on this news and the cast so far?
Have you ever read Death Comes To Pemberley?
Who would you cast in minor roles like Lydia, Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam or Lady Catherine?