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Everything We Know About Netflix’s ‘Persuasion’ Adaptation

And differentiating between the streamer’s Dakota Johnson-starring film and a currently shelved independent project with ”Succession’s“ Sarah Snook

Thanks to shows like “Bridgerton” and “The Gilded Age” (not to mention this year’s Met Gala theme), it seems that we’re entering a bit of a Jane Austen-inspired renaissance — not that fans of the renowned novelist went anywhere. Next up on the list of Regency-era projects is Netflix’s highly anticipated cinematic adaptation of the author’s final novel, “Persuasion,” starring Dakota Johnson.

In late April, the streamer released a set of first-look photos featuring Johnson as heroine Anne Elliot, an overlooked middle daughter who is nonetheless incredibly insightful and clever — if only easily persuaded. Surrounded by her entitled and self-involved relatives, she is once again on her own when faced with the return of the dashing, self-made Captain Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis), with whom she broke off her engagement nearly a decade prior at the behest of those around her deeming it a degrading match.

There have been plenty of successful Austenian adaptations — from PBS’ take on her unfinished manuscript “Sanditon” to Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning “Sense and Sensibility” starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet — and it’s clear that audiences are hungering for more. 

Below, TheWrap breaks down everything you need to know about “Persuasion” — including what would have been the competing indie film starring Sarah Snook of “Succession.”

Who else is in the Netflix “Persuasion” cast?

Nick Wall / Netflix

Aside from Johnson and Jarvis, “Persuasion” will feature “Crazy Rich Asians” alum Henry Golding as Mr. Elliot, a distant relative of Anne’s who, while well-liked and charismatic, is hiding a callous, money-hungry interior. Mia McKenna-Bruce (“Get Even”) will play Anne’s younger sister Mary, the most entitled and foolish of the Elliot household.

The rest of the cast includes Richard E. Grant, Suki Waterhouse, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Edward Bluemel, though their roles have yet to be announced.

When will it be released?

In late April, Netflix announced “Persuasion” will be available to stream on the platform beginning July 15. Helmed by Broadway director Carrie Cracknell, who will be making her feature debut with the film, it began production last May. Filming actually took place near Austen’s home in Bath, where part of the novel takes place and the author herself lived for five years in 1801.

Has “Persuasion” been adapted to the big screen before?

Yes. “Persuasion” has been adapted several times, for both the small and big screen. The earliest one dates back to a 1960 BBC-produced TV miniseries starring Daphne Slater as Anne. Slightly more than a decade later, in 1971, there was ITV’s miniseries. In 1995, BBC and Sony Pictures Classics distributed a “Persuasion” film, which featured cast members Amanda Root, Ciarán Hinds, Sophie Thompson and Fiona Shaw, that saw a televised debut in the UK and theatrical release in the US. Lastly, there was the BAFTA-nominated TV movie released in 2007, starring Sally Hawkins, Rupert Penry-Jones and Tobias Menzies.

What do we know about Snook’s version? 

While Johnson’s project was revealed in April 2021, a “Persuasion” adaptation starring Snook in the lead role had already been announced in September 2020. Joel Fry (of “Game of Thrones” and “Our Flag Means Death”) was cast opposite Snook as Captain Wentworth. However, the movie, which was to be directed by BAFTA TV-winning Mahalia Belo and was to offer a more traditional, period-accurate take on the source material, was officially shelved. Snook told Vogue Australia that “the short story is that Netflix decided to greenlight their own, so Fox abandoned the one we were doing, which is disappointing because it was a great script and a director I really wanted to work with.”

How closely will Netflix’s take stick to the source material?

Netflix has promised that “Persuasion” will take a “modern, witty approach” to the Austen-originated story. While the on-set stills indicate that this is by no means a “Clueless” type of adaptation (which drew from “Emma” and took place in 1990s-era Beverly Hills), Johnson’s updated costuming may imply a “Dickinson” or “Bridgerton” slant. 

Is there a trailer?

Yes! You can watch it below.

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