Deadline reports that Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians, A Simple Favor) will be joining Dakota Johnson(Bad Times at the El Royale, Fifty Shades of Grey) for a contemporary adaptation of the Jane Austen novel Persuasion. Golding will not be playing the role expected of him in this adaptation.
The novel takes place in the 19th century and follows Anne Elliot breaking off an engagement with Frederick Wentworth. When years later Wentworth returns, tension is risen by Elliot’s deep regret for leaving the man she once loved. Persuasion is a classic novel that focuses on a strong female protagonist and is the final fully finished novel by Jane Austen.
While one would suspect Golding to play Wentworth, the actor will actually play Mr. William Elliot, a cousin of Anne who is described in the book as “without heart or conscience; a designing, wary, cold-blooded being, who thinks only of himself.” Golding is playing against type for one of the first times in his young career. This is great for the actor as he builds his resume out.
The film will also be against type as it will be a modern retelling of the story. More classic novels should have modern retelling, but not in the vein of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Perhaps Carrie Cracknell can bring a balanced modern tone to the script written by Ron Bass and Alice Winslow. This will be Cracknell’s feature debut.
Overall, this has the making to be an entertaining film. The casting of Wentworth will certainly be one to look out for in the coming months.
Persuasion is currently in pre-production at Netflix, but no release date has been announced.