Sarah Snook's New Adaptation of Persuasion Has Found Its Frederick Wentworth

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Annie Goldsmith
·3 min read
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Photo credit: Amanda Edwards - Getty Images
Photo credit: Amanda Edwards - Getty Images

Jane Austen's final, complete novel, Persuasion, is often overlooked in the Austen adaptation sphere. While it has previously been turned into British television movies and plays, it has yet to receive the star-powered fanfare of its contemporaries, namely Pride and Prejudice and Emma. That is, until now.

Persuasion is currently being adapted into not one, but two features. One iteration will be a modern retelling, starring Dakota Johnson and made by Netflix and MRC Entertainment, and the other is set to be a more true-to-form period piece with Succession's Sarah Snook as the lead. Keep reading for everything we know about Snook's Austenian endeavor.

The movie will be based on Austen's posthumously released novel.

Persuasion was published in 1817, six months after Austen's death. It was the last novel Austen fully completed and, fittingly, her most mature work. The book centers on two characters: Anne Elliot, a 27 year-old, unmarried English woman and Captain Frederick Wentworth, Anne's former fiancé. The story begins with the pair's reconnection after seven years apart, when the Elliots lease their home to the Captain's sister and her husband.

The story revolves around topics of maturity, growth, reconciliation, and second chances. Though Persuasion is one of Austen's shorter works, it is no less packed with wit, social commentary, and complex interpersonal dynamics. And, of course, it does not skimp on romantic tension.

Succession's Sarah Snook will play Anne Elliot.

Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

Snook recently signed on to play the story's female lead. The Emmy-nominated, Australian actress is best known for portraying Siobhan "Shiv" Roy in HBO's hit show, Succession. Most recently, Snook starred alongside Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf in the movie, Pieces of a Woman, which was just acquired by Netflix and premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

Anne Elliot is Austen's oldest protagonist and considered to be her most mature. She is characterized by her quiet intelligence and thoughtful interior monologue, though she has been exhausted by the world around her. While quite a departure from Shiv Roy, Snook will have much to delve into with this heroine.

It was recently announced that British actor Joel Fry will star opposite Snook as Wentworth.

There's an all-star group behind-the-scenes.

Helmed by Searchlight Pictures, Persuasion is pulling together a group of both entertainment professionals and up-and-coming talent. Mahalia Belo is set to direct the picture. The English film and TV director won a Breakthrough BAFTA in 2017 for her TV movie Ellen, and directed the 2018 BBC drama, The Long Song.

British playwright Jessica Swale is adapting the book into a feature. Her first feature film, Summerland, was released this past summer. As for production, Alison Own and Debra Hayward are producing through Monumental Pictures, while BBC Films is co-financing the movie.

The release date has yet to be announced.

Given that the movie has not started filming yet, it may be a while before you lay your eyes on it. We're still waiting on an official release date, along with announcements about the rest of the cast, but keep checking back in here for more information.

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