An “anthology” series, which will update a number of Jane Austen classics for the “modern” viewer, is reportedly in production at the CW network, to air over the next several years.
The series, which appears to be taking a “woke” approach to the classic author’s works, is “expected to adapt a different novel with the first season adapting Pride and Prejudice and taking place in San Francisco,” and will offer a “a kaleidoscopic look at love and family in our time on inequality,” according to Bounding Into Comics.
There have, of course, been several adaptations of “Pride and Prejudice” including modern adaptations that place the iconic characters into more recognizable settings, but this series seems destined to adapt the stories in a different way: a woke way.
“The show is being developed by writer Eleanor Burgess and Stephanie Allain’s Homegrown Pictures and Warner Bros. TV,” Bounding Into Comics noted.
Allain’s Homegrown Pictures, the outlet added, is on a “mission is to produce ‘award-winning content from diverse voices that shapes the culture and contributes to a legacy of complex depictions of people of color.’ The company also claims they are ‘dedicated to creating content by and about women and people of color with authentic stories, depictions, and representation..'”
Jane Austen, like many authors in the pantheon of literature, has fallen into disfavor in recent years, amid concerns that western classics perpetuate ideas of “white supremacy” and in the wake of global “Black Lives Matter” protests.
Austen, the Daily Wire reported earlier this year, is currently undergoing a “BLM-inspired ‘historical interrogation’ over her family’s links to the slave trade, and over her love of tea — a beverage that came to the United Kingdom courtesy of British colonial efforts in India.
“Staff at the museum are now re-evaluating Jane Austen’s place in ‘Regency-era colonialism’ in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests,” The Telegraph reported, per the Daily Wire. “The Pride and Prejudice author’s links to slavery through her father Rev George Austen, at one time the trustee of an Antigua sugar plantation, will be highlighted with future displays at the property.”
“The museum’s director has stated that Austen’s tea-drinking, a key social ceremony in her era and her novels, also links the writer to the exploitation of the British Empire,’… as did taking sugar in her tea and wearing cotton, both of which were produced, the museum says, in questionable surroundings,” according to the Telegraph.
Austen’s only connection to the slave trade, however, is through her father, Rev. George Austen, who stood to inherit a plantation and its slaves in a trustee arrangement, though he never did. The elder Austen died years before Jane Austen began publishing her most popular works, regardless.
The Jane Austen Museum has said it is developing displays that put Austen’s work in the context of its historical era.
Beyond the CW, Netflix is also producing a “modern” adaptation of Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” called “The Netherfield Girls,” and starring an actress of color in the lead role of “Lizzie Bennet,” per Town & Country. “‘The Netherfield Girls’ is a ‘fresh and contemporary take’ on ‘Pride & Prejudice’ inspired by ‘Easy A’ and ’10 Things I Hate About You.’ Both those movies were, of course, modern adaptations of classic literature (‘The Scarlet Letter’ and ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ respectively) and also happen to be two of the best rom-coms of recent years.”