And the big screen to boot! Every other month or so I compile a list of 19th century-inspired viewing. Ironic, since I do not even own television nor have seen a movie in theaters in almost two years. Regardless, I understand I am unusual in this respects (. . . well, in many respects, actually.–I prefer it that way. Drives my family up the wall. *insert big innocent smile here*) and the average reader likely has access to a Netflix account, a TV, or at least a desire to purchase tickets at the local cinema.
Below are a list of eight films, mini-series, TV series, and made for TV movies that have debuted this year or will premiere in 2016. Before I delve into all the new stuff, just a quick note on the Julian Fellowe’s The Gilded Age. The latest bit of news is the movie has been changed to a television movie. Good heavens! First it was going to be a parallel series to Downton Abbey, then it was bumped to a prequel, two months ago the rumor mill claimed it was to be a featured film, now They are saying it will be a television movie. People, just freakin’ make up your minds! At this point, I do not care what the format is, as long as the project gets made. Why my vehemence? Because costumes, of course! And jaw-dropping sumptuous interiors! Oh yes, then there are the actors and plot and such . . . and so on and so forth. . .
I digress.–Below are eight 1800s-inspired shows or films. Have you seen any of them? Which ones will you camp out in front of the theaters to watch?
The Book of Negroes
“Kidnapped in Africa and subsequently enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata must navigate a revolution in New York, isolation in Nova Scotia and treacherous jungles of Sierra Leone, in an attempt to secure her freedom in the 19th century.” This television mini-series came out back in January of this year. –How on earth did I miss this???–The show is highly rated as per my reliable source, Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) with an average of 7.7 out of 10. The mini-series stars Aunjanue Ellis, last seen in the movie Get on Up, Lyriq Bent, best known for the Saw movie-franchise, and Ben Chaplin.
“A Fictional Prequel of Pride and Prejudice that delves into the the reckless past of a young Mr. Darcy by way of 1960’s Manhattan and follows the trials and torments that ultimately delivers our romantic hero to Netherfield Park.” Apparently this television series came out in June of this year. I believe it is a web-based series . . . –Hey! Would you look at that?! It is the first time, I have featured a web-based series on here! I feel thoroughly modern now.–As it is a web-based series it is not rated via my source. The leads are relatively unknown; Azize Erim, Sebastian Velmont, Alysha Young.
“A modern take on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, in which college-bound Catherine Morland navigates New York City and her new life with the help of her friends.” This TV show also debuted in June as well.–Where was I? How do I keep missing stuff??–Northbound is also a web-series.–Wow! Two in one post, I’m on a roll!–Again, it is not rated, it is unclear at this point if there will be a second season. Alice Hale, Sarah Sampino, and Samantha Rothermel take the lead roles.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Who doesn’t love an Austen adaptation? The third on our list! To be fair, this book by Seth Grahame Smith is the book that started the Literary-Mash-Up Craze a while back. The movie has been in the works for quite sometime and originally Natalie Portman was headlining, but things changed over the years. Lily James, of Cinderella and Cousin Rose from Downton Abbey fame is our new Elizabeth Bennet, Lena Headly from Game of Thrones will play Lady Catherine, and Matt Smith/Dr. Who is cast as Mr. Collins. The feature length film is set to debut February 5th, 2016 with a PG-13 rating. “Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge — an army of undead zombies.”
Mark your calendars! The live action version of the Jungle Book premieres April 15th, 2016. Based off the beloved book by Rudyard Kipling. At its heart, it is a story of “an orphan boy who is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther.” Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and Bill Murray lend their voices to the ensemble cast of animals. I am rather curious to see this adaptation. There has been quite a bit of hype in the online community.
Yet another Jane Austen Regency rift. Wow, really? Our fourth on the list this month. Love and Friendship is loosely based on the novel Lady Susan. “Set in the 1790s, Love and Friendship centers on beautiful widow Lady Susan Vernon, who has come to the estate of her in-laws to wait out colorful rumors about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and her rather reluctant debutante daughter, Frederica.” Kate Beckinsale stars as the Lady Susan. Chole Sevigny and Xavier Samuel also star. Love and Friendship is slotted for April 27th, 2016 . . .in France. Check out the costume!
Meryl Streep Alert!! “The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress, who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.” True story, by the way. It premieres August 31st, 2016 . . . in the Netherlands! I do hope they are bringing this film state-side! Starring the fabulous Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Rebecca Ferguson. Technically this not a Victorian movie per se, but who cares–Just look at Meryl as Florence!
The film version of the wildly popular Young Adult novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. “Teenager Jacob follows clues that take him to a mysterious island, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the abandoned bedrooms and hallways, he discovers that its former occupants were far more than peculiar; they possessed incredible powers. And they may still be alive.” Could this be the holiday hit of 2016? Peculiars will debut on December 25th next year. . . Granted, as we mentioned before these dates are subject to change as per the whims of Hollywood. Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, and Asa Butterfield round out the cast.