Pride and Prejudice is getting a dark, sexy and twisted TV makeover

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Kayleigh Dray
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Honestly, it feels as if we can’t go more than two years without someone taking it upon themselves to remake Pride and Prejudice. But we’re actually quite excited about this upcoming TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s iconic tome – not least of all because it’s being remade by the makers of Poldark.

Oh yes, we’re deadly serious.

According to the Radio Times, Mammoth Screen (aka the production company behind Poldark) has called upon critically-acclaimed playwright Nina Raine to adapt Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy’s love story – with a twist.

Because, in a move we 100% expected from the creators of the sexually-charged (and incredibly controversial) Poldark, this version of Pride and Prejudice is going to be very different to all those that came before.

Pride and Prejudice is actually a very adult book, much less bonnet-y than people assume,” Raine explained – possibly referencing Mr Wickham’s seduction of 15-year-old heiress Georgiana – and, later, young Lydia Bennett.

Raine continued: “I hope I do justice to Austen’s dark intelligence – sparkling, yes, but sparkling like granite.”


Mammoth Screen managing director Damien Timmer added: “In this age of the box set – with audiences loving to binge on complex, serialised dramas – it feels absolutely right to reassess the great classics.

“Every generation needs its own adaptation of this perfect novel.”

 Of course, it goes without saying that Austen’s books are far more revolutionary than their reserved TV adaptations give them credit for: after all, they radically transformed how we view female desire and relationships – not to mention put women at the front and centre of their own stories for the very first time.

And Pride and Prejudice, in particular, did something pretty important for women everywhere: through allowing us to objectify Mr Darcy through Lizzie’s female gaze, the novel quietly and skilfully championed self-expression, reminded womankind of the importance of free will, and – above all else – taught us that we deserve more.

Because, in a world of polite 18th century courtship – where women were expected to secure a good proposal for financial and social reasons alone – Austen taught us that we are sexual beings, with real and vital needs, wants, and desires all of our own. That we need someone who loves us for who we are. That it’s far more important to find a person who makes us feel happy and confident. And that, above all else, we deserve someone who gets us hot under our petticoats.

If we can get a TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that delivers all of these messages – and more – then we’re well and truly on board. In the meantime, we’ll stick to Colin Firth’s wet shirt moment…

Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.