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Together At Last

Fetch Me My Smelling Salts, There’s a Downton Abbey-Style Pride and Prejudice Movie in the Works

Now I’m thinking of a Downton Abbey/Pride and Prejudice crossover where the Dowager Countess manages to stare down Lady Catherine and Edith and Mary Bennett bond over how everyone in their respective families ignores them.

That’s not what this new movie’s going to be, but it’d be pretty cool, no?

What the movie actually is is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Bennet family’s servants, thus the Downton comparison. Called Longbourne, it’s based on a novel by Jo Baker that was acquired for publication at the same time the movie rights were picked up, so Baker’s probably feeling like Edith [Season 3, episode 3 spoiler] pre-disastrous wedding right now. (Too soon?)

Says Baker of the concept:

Jane Austen was my first experience of grown-up literature. But as I read and re-read her books, I began to become aware that if I’d been living at the time, I wouldn’t have got to go to the ball; I would have been stuck at home with the sewing. Just a few generations back, my family were in service. Aware of that English class thing, Pride And Prejudice begins to read a little differently.”

In addition to addressing issues of class, the movie and book “will also reveal the tragic consequences of the Napoleonic Wars and focus on a romance between a newly arrived footman and a housemaid, the novel’s main characters,” writes Deadline.

Class differences, romance, a looming war. Sounds Downton-y indeed. I wonder how big a presence the P&P characters will have. I also, in a somewhat-related-but-also-tangential-because-it’s-Friday-so-screw-it sort of way, want to know whether I should watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Opinions?

(via: Deadline)

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  • Mia V.

    I’ve really enjoyed the Lizzie Bennett Diaries. Started when episode 1 first premiered and have stuck around up to this week’s episode 86. I think it is a really interesting take on the story and they’ve done an admirable job of modernizing it. To be fair, I love most interpretations of P&P (including the Bollywood and the Mormon film versions), but I’m still picky enough to want to watch something that tries to stay true to the story and the characters. Definitely give it a try, and if you hate it feel free to beat me up later. ;) (But be warned, you don’t get to see Darcy until about halfway through the series, which kind of sucks.)

  • Betty Windsor

    I always prefer that people would make mini series, especially adaptations. They are my ideal length.

  • Gina

    Yes! Go now.
    On a more reflective note: Updating a story that is essentially a comedy of manners brings out some of the characteristics that I’ve missed in my many readings. Or at least puts them in a different light. I like it.
    I am also looking forward to Longbourne. I am a Jane Austen fan girl.

  • Katherine Murnion

    The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are worth watching. I have enjoyed they way they modernized things and it’s not all about romance because in this day and age a lot of women are concern about careers too and these videos address that.

  • R.O.U.S.

    It’s more published fanfic! Sounds like a marvelous idea, can’t wait.

  • Jen Rubel

    This concept seems interesting. I don’t know. Feels like an excuse to link a small part of the story to something everyone knows so they will be more apt to start watching.

    On a different note, definitely watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The modernization is great and they have worked hard at creating rounder stories for the more minor characters (read: everyone that isn’t Lizzie, Lydia, or Darcy). Although, Kitty did become a cat. So…

  • Sarah Parker

    WATCH LBD!!!

  • Kailee Bruce

    I misread the title and thought it was a Downton Abbey movie… don’t get me wrong it sounds awesome but I’m sitll somewhat dissapointed.

  • Crystal Nehler

    I’ve been enjoying The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Also: I would watch any adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Also: If you haven’t seen Lost in Austen, it is fun too.

  • Anonymous

    Yes you should go watch them now! Run, do not walk!

  • Jennifer Schmitt

    Just watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries already! They’re so good.

  • Ringrrl

    Totally watch LBD!!! It is amazing, and has totally sucked me.

    I made a massive playlist of all the episodes on the main channel, and the side channels, in order, if that is any motivation.

  • Elizabeth Brady

    Yes! Lizzie Bennet Diaries has been amazing! It is the first interpretation of P&P where I actually like Lydia :-) And the other characters, especially Lizzie, Darcy, Jane, Gigi, and Charlotte are pitch-perfect. Go for it!

  • Nicole Kiser

    There’s a Mormon film version? REALLY? What’s it called?

  • Elizabeth Weaver

    Here’s the link to the imdb page. It’s ok.

  • Nicole Kiser

    Thank you! :D

  • Alex

    Yes!! Watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries!! And make sure to watch the Lydia diaries as well, because perhaps the cleverest thing the show is doing is showing the interactions between the sisters in more depth, and also showing motivation etc really nicely. Plus, following them all on twitter gives quite a spooky feel of realism to it all…

  • Tansy Rayner Roberts

    I think that looking at the price of the lifestyles of that era is fascinating – I watched a stage play of P&P once which had 2 fewer Bennet sisters, but included a maid and butler character who rarely talked, but worked in the background, and in particular arranged the rooms for scene changes.

    It was a good reminder of the fact that the Bennets AREN’T ACTUALLY POOR as is sometimes assumed because of them being comparitive poor to other families, but also was a method of exploring character – how the girls interacted with the maid vs. how the adults did, and who treated the servants better than others.

  • Malin

    Yes, you should totally watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but be warned that it’s crazy addictive. The individual episodes are short, but there are 88 of them so far (not counting the various “spin-offs” that come later, and also add a lot to the story), so it will take quite a few hours to get through them all now.

    It’s so worth it though, and it’s so cleverly done. Mondays and Thursdays are the best days of my week because I get new episodes.