Nora Ephron Sending A Modern Woman Into Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

By Sean O'Connell 2011-10-10 19:53:32discussion comments
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Yet another spin on Jane Austenís timeless Pride & Prejudice has entered the industryís pipeline, but instead of zombies, we get Youíve Got Mail director Nora Ephron.

Um, is it too late to go back to the flesh-craving, brain-eating, undead creatures?

No offense to Ms. Ephron, who consistently delivers safe, palatable romantic comedies for the Meg Ryan sect, but the premise of Sonyís Lost In Austen, as described by Variety, sounds insufferable. Picture this. A modern New York woman somehow finds herself transported into Austenís classic story. How does she get there? How will they squeeze fresh laughs out of a tired fish-out-of-water storyline? Ugh. Stop. Enough. Sam Mendes will serve as a producer and Ephron will write a script, which reportedly will be based on a BBC mini-series, but the premise just sounds so Ö vanilla.

Casting will make or break Ephronís effort. If she can lure her Julie & Julia collaborator Amy Adams over to Austen, Iíd feel much better about the project. Could Keira Knightley come back to Pride & Prejudice and approach it from a new angle? Maybe it would be better for Ephron to discover a newcomer, a fresh-faced talent who can command the screen and turn this Austen feature into her welcome-wagon project.

But Iím in the minority. Ephronís films make money, from Julie ($94.1M) and Mail ($115.8M) to Sleepless In Seattle ($126.6M), so Sonyís desire to work with her is a no-brainer, and audiences no doubt will show up for a commercially viable project riffing on a classic work of literature. I really want to find out who Ephron chooses for her modern, female protagonist, so for now, Iíll be cautiously pessimistic.
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