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Dakota Johnson to Star in Netflix’s Jane Austen Adaptation of ‘Persuasion’

The film will be helmed by British theater director Carrie Cracknell, who recently directed a Tony-nominated Jake Gyllenhaal performance.

Dakota Johnson arrives at the Governors Awards on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at the Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Dakota Johnson

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Dakota Johnson has landed the starring role in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of the Jane Austen novel “Persuasion,” the feature directorial debut of acclaimed theater director Carrie Cracknell. The director most recently worked on Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge’s Tony-nominated performances in the play “Sea Wall/A Life.” The film adaptation is written by “Rain Man” Oscar winner Ron Bass and Alice Victoria Winslow.

The film promises to take a fresh approach to the beloved story. Here’s Netflix’s logline: “Living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy, Anne Elliot is an unconforming woman with modern sensibilities. When Frederick Wentworth—the dashing one she once sent away—crashes back into her life, Anne must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances.”

Dakota Johnson recently starred in the cancer drama “Our Friend,” released by Gravitas earlier this year. She’ll be seen next in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Elena Ferranted adaptation “The Lost Daughter” and Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro’s “Am I OK?”

“Persuasion” is the last novel completed by Austen prior to her 1817 death and is noted for its melancholy tone. It was most recently adapted for screen in a 2007 TV movie released by Britain’s ITV. A 1995 BBC version was released in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics and earned five BAFTAs.

In addition to her double bill “Seawall/A Life,” Cracknell’s recent work includes the National Theatre production of “Julie,” starring Vanessa Kirby. In addition to the Tony nominations, her work has been nominated for an Olivier and an Evening Standard Best Director Award. This will be her first feature. She directed a 2012 short “Nora,” commissioned by the Guardian, the Young Vic, and The Space.

“Persuasion” is produced by “American Sniper” Best Picture nominated producer Andrew Lazar and Christina Weiss Lurie (“Adam”). Executive producers are Elizabeth Cantillon via her untitled MRC Film Romance label, Michael Constable, and David Fliegel.

MRC Film also recently announced “The Mothership” starring Halle Berry, set for release on Netflix. It most recently released Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” the film that spawned two very expensive sequels to be released on the streamer.

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