Dakota Johnson has signed on to star in a modern adaptation of Jane Austen‘s last novel Persuasion that is being mounted by Netflix and MRC Entertainment, Collider has confirmed.
The project will mark the feature directorial debut of theater director Carrie Cracknell, who directed Jake Gyllenhall and Tom Sturridge to Tony nominations last year in Sea Wall/A Life on Broadway. Ron Bass, who won an Oscar for Rain Man and also penned My Best Friend’s Wedding, co-wrote the script with Alice Victoria Winslow.
Johnson will play Anne Elliot, a non-conforming woman with modern sensibilities who lives with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy. When her dashing ex Frederick Wentworth comes crashing back into her life, Anne must choose whether to put the past behind her or listen to her heart when it comes to second chances.
Netflix and MRC describe the adaptation as a “modern, witty approach to a beloved story” that will still “remain true” to Austen‘s novel, which was published shortly after her death in 1817. The book has been adapted several times before for both television and the stage.
Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) and Christina Weiss Lurie (Bruised) will produce the feature adaptation of Persuasion, which will be executive produced by Elizabeth Cantillon, Michael Constable and David Fliegel. Production is expected to start next month.
Johnson has been building an interesting resume since putting the Fifty Shades franchise behind her. She recently starred in the well-received indies The Peanut Butter Falcon and Our Friend, and she’ll soon be seen alongside Olivia Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s directorial debut The Lost Daughter. She has also wrapped Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro’s indie Am I OK? and will soon begin filming Cooper Raiff‘s Cha Cha Real Smooth. This Jane Austen adaptation may not interest me personally, but it strikes me as a smart career move for the actress, who has shown real promise ever since her breakout role in The Social Network.