Forget about everything you thought you knew about Jane Austen and period dramas: there's a new 'darker' Pride and Prejudice set to hit our screens in 2020 - arriving just in time for the 25th anniversary of the seminal version starring Colin Firth in his wet shirt.
The new series is the brainchild of Mammoth Screen - the production team behind other racy TV dramas Poldark and Victoria - and Nina Raine, a playwright who has never seen the previous adaptations, but who is an avid fan of the book.
'In this age of the box set – with audiences loving to binge on complex, serialised dramas – it feels absolutely right to reassess the great classics,' said Damien Timmer, managing director of Mammoth. 'Every generation needs its own adaptation of this perfect novel.'
'Nina Raine is one of the most gifted writers working today, and her wit and emotional intelligence make her the perfect match for Jane Austen,' he continued. 'She’s a devoted fan of the book, but she’s never seen any previous adaptations – so pleasingly the novel only exists in her imagination.'
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Raine's previous work includes the play Consent, which opened at the National Theatre in London earlier this year to rave reviews.She has promised to bring some of Austen's nuanced edge back to the small screen.
'Pride and Prejudice is actually a very adult book, much less bonnet-y than people assume,' said Raine. 'I hope I do justice to Austen’s dark intelligence – sparkling, yes, but sparkling like granite.'
This adaptation will mark the sixth time that Austen's most famous novel has been brought to life on screen. The most memorable versions are the 1995 TV mini-series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, as well as the 2005 feature film with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden.