It is a truth universally acknowledged that any post referencing Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—no matter how minute the reference—should include some adaptation of said novel’s opening sentence.
There. Obligation fulfilled. On to the news, sure to please Janeites everywhere!
Those of us who are still basking in the happy glow that was The Lizzie Bennet Diaries might be happy to hear that yet another Austen-related film is looming on the horizon. This film, titled Austenland, is sure to hit home among Jane Austen fans, as it centers on the fans themselves for a change. Based on the book written by award-winning author Shannon Hale, Austenland tells the story of Jane Hayes, a self-proclaimed Janeite who is completely and utterly obsessed with the 1995 Colin Firth version of Mr. Darcy.
Sound familiar to some of you? Yeah, I’m guilty of the same, too.
To come to grips with her fantastic, albeit unrealistic expectations about love, Jane is sent to—get this—a Jane Austen-themed getaway vacation where women can live out their fantasies of being in a Jane Austen novel, complete with their own fabricated love story.
In other words, my dream come true…or is it? I won’t give away any spoilers, in case readers choose to search out the book for themselves, which I recommend. Enough to say that Austenland is a highly enjoyable read and, in my opinion, has the potential to be a great film as well—especially in light of reactions after the movie’s debut at the Sundance Film Festival.
Though purposed to be a romantic-comedy—a genre not normally seen among the films displayed—Austenland has been picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Sony Pictures Classics for distribution in the UK in September and the United States in August. Starring such familiar faces as Keri Russell, Jane Seymour and Jennifer Coolidge, Austenland will also mark the directorial debut of Jerusha Hess (co-writer of Napoleon Dynamite) and the first producing project of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer.
Though we have yet to be blessed with a full trailer for this film, an insider’s interview and two 30-second clips have been released to whet the appetites of fans such as me. With the monikers “Janie’s Got a Gun” and “Unmentionables”, these short clips display a subtle humor that I sincerely hope will be continued throughout the entire film. Enjoy them here, and let us know what you think in the comments below!