Andrew Davis's long-awaited adaptation of Sense and Sensibility will screen in North America over two 90 minute episodes on March 30 and April 6, 2008. The mini-series will close the three month PBS extravaganza "Sundays with Jane" which will bring together all six of Jane Austen's novels on the small screen for the first time as a complete collection.
From the Masterpiece Theatre Press Release
Hattie Morahan (The Golden Compass) plays levelheaded Elinor Dashwood and Charity Wakefield (Jane Eyre) is her impulsive sister Marianne. Though poor, they attract a trio of very promising gentlemen: soon-to-be wealthy Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens, The Line of Beauty), heroic Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey, Meadowlands and State of Play), and Byronic John Willoughby (Dominic Cooper, The History Boys).
Touted as a "bold, original, authentic and powerful" and, "romantic, witty and stylish" mini-series, Sense and Sensibility 2008 is one to watch out for. Davis, famous for ramping up the eroticism in period pieces, has described his adaptation as a "sort of rural Sex and the City," and he promises to set hearts racing with a new version of the memorable "wet shirt scene" made famous by Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice 1995.
'I want to do justice to the back story, the one about Willoughby in particular, which is quite interesting and steamy stuff like a lot of underage sex that goes on and is just talked about. I want to put it on the screen.'
The music front looks promising - Benjamin Britten's godson Martin Phipps has composed the score, following his earlier critical success with the BBC's North and South and Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen . He also scored Persuasion 2007.
I live in New Zealand, and three of the new ITV adaptations have already screened, but I am hanging out for Sense and Sensibility. I can'twait! Andrew Davis is responsible for my two favourite Austen adaptations: Pride & Prejudice & Emma, and I have every faith that he will deliver with his adaptation of Sense & Sensibility.
I have a huge respect for Andrew Davis because I believe he stands out as a faithful interpreter of both spirit and content. Much is made of his “sexing up” the classics, and whenever I read the latest screaming headlines, I chuckle to myself. We live in a generation where entertainment is saturated with sex simply to sell it. Davis isn’t guilty of this ‘crime’. Yes, the media is trumpeting a sexed-up version of Sense & Sensibility, but look what they wrote about the beloved Pride and Prejudice ’95 prior to its release!
“Andrew had been asked in an interview what he was currently writing. He mentioned Pride and Prejudice and, in the same sentence, the words ‘sex and money’. The tabloid newspapers needed no further encouragement. ‘SEX ROMP JANE AUSTEN’ hit the headlines. This new version, they confidently asserted, would have full-frontal nudity and daring sex scenes. The broadsheets picked up the story. We even featured in the cartoon on the front page of The Guardian. Jane Austen experts were consulted and were quick to condemn this ‘spiced-up’ version. No one, of course, bothered to telephone me to check if the story was accurate. It wasn’t. No doubt we made a mistake when we described the novel as sexy; what we meant, of course, was that Darcy staring at Elizabeth across a room is exciting, that Darcy and Elizabeth touching hands the first time they dance is erotic.’
From The Making of Pride & Prejudice
2008 is shaping up to be an exquisite year for Austen lovers!
High resolution copies of all of the above Sense & Sensibility production stills are available from: LadyBlueLake
All images from: LadyBlueLake
Austen's Men get a Bit Nasty
Andrew Davis: Bodice Ripper