It is a truth universally acknowledged that TV fans in need of a new show to binge on must want a remake of sure-fire ratings hit Pride and Prejudice.
Popular opinion dictates that the 1995 BBC series of Pride and Prejudice is sacred and a remake should never be attempted unless it wants to fail, hard, but Jane Austen’s 19th-century romance is one of the most famous novels ever written so it’s naive to think that TV bosses will resist raking in more dollar from it forever.
ITV plans on facing doubters head-on and has just announced its plans for a new small-screen run with a twist. But before you start panicking, have a read of this, because what we’re hearing at the moment doesn’t sound too bad after all. In fact, it sounds decidedly awesome.
First up, the upcoming adaptation is in the hands of Poldark creators Mammoth Screen, who have got reputed playwright Nina Raine on board to pen the screenplay.
Secondly, the intention is to convey the depth and darkness to the timeless love story because, as those who have actually read the classic will know, there’s a lot more to it than your average glossy period drama might suggest. Hell, the wet white shirt scene that catapulted Colin Firth to stardom? Not even in the book. Tragic, we know, but true.
“Pride and Prejudice is actually a very adult book, much less bonnet-y than people assume,” Raine told Radio Times. “I hope I do justice to Austen’s dark intelligence – sparkling yes, but sparkling like granite.”
This sounds like the Austen we love, and we’re hopeful that Raine will get the gloriously sharp irony and feminism that characterises her writing across on screen.
She has never seen an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which hopefully means that she will create something most closely aligned with the original literary masterpiece.
It is a risky move, but if it pays off it could be exactly what we never knew we were waiting for.