1:45 pm EST, February 7, 2013

‘Pride and Prejudice’ returns to the screen in Focus Features’ adaptation of ‘Longbourn’

“Pride and Prejudice” fans will have yet another outlet to see their fantasies come true in the Focus Features version of “Longbourn”.

In its 200 years, “Pride and Prejudice” is as popular as ever. With the popular webseries The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the new film Austenland, and the legions of Austenites who still avidly read the book and its fan-created sequels, the timeless classic shows no hint of slowing down. Focus Features and Random House Studio have bought the rights to Jo Baker’s “Longbourn”, a soon-to-be published novel which looks at the servants at the Bennet estate.

The novel will be published this fall and will focus on a new footman and a housemaid as the novel’s central characters. It will feature the Napoleonic Wars of the era and the antics of the Bennet family, as after all they affect the servants.

Baker admits that she was inspired by Jane Austen and wanted to put a different twist on the series. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Baker stated, “Jane Austen was my first experience of grown-up literature. But as I read and re-read her books, I began to become aware that if I’d been living at the time, I wouldn’t have got to go to the ball; I would have been stuck at home with the sewing. Just a few generations back, my family were in service. Aware of that English class thing, Pride and Prejudice begins to read a little differently.”

A word of caution to fans who are excited to see this version on the screen, it will most likely be a fair amount of time before this gets made. Acquiring rights is just the first step in a long process to bring the book to the screen. Focus Features brought the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice to the screen with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

Do you agree with Baker’s sentiments? Are you excited to see Mrs. Hill? Are you excited for this version of Jane Austen’s world? Do you think it’s a version that has not yet been done? Will you read “Longbourn” when it is published? Do you want to see some of your Lizzie Bennet Diaries favorites like Ashley Clements or Mary Kate Wiles in the film?

Photo Credit: Focus Features and BBC

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