Another novel by iconic writer Jane Austen will once again be transformed into a feature film, with the new production of “Persuasion” set to be released by Netflix this summer. This movie follows in the footsteps of other Austen adaptions, such as 2020’s “Emma” with recent star Anya Taylor-Joy, who can also be seen in Netflix’s smash hit show “The Queen’s Gambit” and the many productions of “Pride and Prejudice.”
There is still a substantial market for adaptions of Austen’s work. It was recently announced that Sarah Snook, the star of the popular show “Succession,” will portray the main character Anne Elliot in a different production of “Persuasion,” so clearly, fans of Austen’s work have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months.
Austen’s final completed novels, “Persuasion” and “Northanger Abbey,” were published six months after Austen’s death in 1817. In this upcoming version of “Persuasion,” current Hollywood obsession Dakota Johnson will play Anne Elliot, the quiet and mature protagonist who struggles against societal expectations and peer pressure.
Like all of Austen’s novels, they remain relevant today through their themes of love, friendship, perseverance and growth that will always be in style. Her storytelling has stood the test of time, so media tycoons are always excited to breathe fresh life into them and retell these stories with a new perspective, all while doing Austen’s work justice. Here’s everything you need to know about Netflix’s adaptation of “Persuasion.”
The Plot of “Persuasion”
Adapted from the famous Jane Austen novel, the film will follow heroine Anne Elliot’s adventures with her snobby family after they find themselves on the tragic brink of bankruptcy and are forced to move to Bath. Anne’s former fiancé, Captain Frederick Wentworth, re-enters her life, and Anne must reconcile her new perspectives with the return of her lost love and decide if she will be persuaded yet again into following everyone else’s expectations or, alternatively, choose to follow her heart.
The new adaptation will be directed by Carrie Cracknell, who directed Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge in “Sea Wall / A Life” on Broadway last year. Cracknell will make her movie directorial debut with “Persuasion.” The film promises to exhibit “a modern, witty approach” to the classic story posthumously published in 1817.
Netflix posted several stills from the movie of stars Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis and Henry Golding, all in full costume. The outfits were period costumes, to be sure, yet fans observed that Johnson’s outfit seemed to suggest a hint of a contemporary twist or modern update. The overarching design of the costumes was inspired and most loyal to early 1800s styles, so viewers should not expect a wholly modernized storyline or production.
Other popular Austen adaptions received very updated versions. For example, the 1990s hit teen romantic-comedy “Clueless” was based on the novel “Emma,” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary” was a popular retelling movie trilogy initially based on Austen’s personal favorite, “Pride and Prejudice.” Still, the dialogue or other creative accents in this “Persuasion” film may be altered to foster more of a modern and relatable feel.
The official synopsis of the film, taken from Deadline, reads, “In this version of ‘Persuasion,’ Anne Elliot is an unconforming woman with modern sensibilities, living with her snobby family who is on the brink of bankruptcy. When Frederick Wentworth — the dashing one she once sent away — crashes back into her life, Anne must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances.”
The Cast of “Persuasion”
Dakota Johnson, most widely known for her starring role in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” romance trilogy, will portray the oldest, most intellectual and quietest Austen protagonist. Throughout the novel, Johnson will exhibit Elliot’s evolution as she ponders reconnecting with former flame Captain Frederick Wentworth and battles societal expectations. Johnson starred in the recent drama “Our Friend” and can soon be seen in Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro’s “Am I OK?” and in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter.”
“Persuasion” features a star-studded cast as Johnson acts opposite “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding, who plays Mr. Elliot. According to Deadline, Golding’s character can be described as “the callous and classic Austen foil.” In the original novel, William Elliot is a distant relative of Anne and her family and the heir of Anne’s father. He is characterized by his cold and manipulative scheming to attain the Elliot title and property.
Known for his role in 2016’s “Lady Macbeth” and portraying Barney in the fifth season of “Peaky Blinders,” Cosmo Jarvis will play Anne Elliot’s romantic interest, Captain Frederick Wentworth. Other stars of the upcoming “Persuasion” include “How to Get Ahead in Advertising” star and Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant, as well as Nikki Amuka-Bird, who starred in “Hard Sun,” and Mia McKenna-Bruce, who is known for her role in “EastEnders.” Model and actress Suki Waterhouse, who is known for supporting roles in “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” and “Love, Rosie,” will also star. Other cast members include Ben Bailey Smith, known as Doc Brown in “The Split,” Izuka Hoyle from “The Outpost,” and Nia Towle, seen in “The Hollow.”
Production and Release Date
The new “Persuasion” film is scheduled to premiere on Netflix this upcoming summer, following a production that began last May. The movie was filmed near Jane Austen’s home in Bath, England, a lovely countryside town roughly a one hour and 20-minute train ride outside of London. Austen resided in a house there from 1801 to 1806, and it is the setting for another beloved Austen novel, “Northanger Abbey.”
There isn’t an official trailer for “Persuasion” yet, but one is sure to be released soon. Regardless, fans will not have to wait too long because the film will be available to stream on Netflix on July 15.