Dakota Johnson is set to star in Netflix’s retelling of Jane Austen’s novel ‘Persuasion’. Carrie Cracknell, known for directing Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Sea Wall/ A Life’ on Broadway, is stepping behind the camera in her feature directorial debut. Ron Bass and Alice Victoria Winslow have adapted the screenplay.
Described as a “modern, witty approach” to a beloved story, “Persuasion” tells the story of Anne Elliot, an conforming woman living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy. Unmarried and 27-years-old, Anne reconnects with a man she was once persuaded to reject and faces a second chance at love.
‘Persuasion’ was the last novel written by Austen, the author of literary classics like ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Emma,’ prior to her death in 1817. The property has been adapted for the screen numerous times, including the 2007 TV movie starring Sally Hawkins.
A separate production of ‘Persuasion’ — starring ‘Succession’ actor Sarah Snook — is currently in the works at Searchlight Pictures. That version, announced in September 2020, is being directed by Mahalia Belo and written by Jessica Swale (‘Summerland’).
Production on Netflix’s iteration of ‘Persuasion’ is expected to begin in May. MRC Film, the studio that backed ‘Knives Out’ and 'The Lovebirds,’ is developing the movie with Netflix. (Variety’s parent company PMC is a partner with MRC in the PMRC venture that owns Billboard, Vibe and the Hollywood Reporter.)
Andrew Lazar and Christina Weiss Lurie will serve as producers. Executive producers include Elizabeth Cantillon via her untitled MRC Film Romance label, Michael Constable and David Fliegel.
Johnson recently starred in the drama ‘Our Friend’ alongside Jason Segel and Casey Affleck. She will appear next in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ‘The Lost Daughter’ and Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro’s ‘Am I OK?’
Johnson is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment. Cracknell is represented by United Agents in the UK and UTA. -Variety