Now, this is movie news we are actually excited about! News came out last week that Whit Stillman is casting his next movie, which will be a modern take on Lady Susan called Love and Friendship (spelled correctly; and yet we still had a “Bwuh?” moment).
Yesterday, the New York Post reported that Stillman had hit Manhattan to start casting on this next movie, which he teased thusly: “It’s based on a funny but obscure late 18th-century work that reads a bit like an Oscar Wilde play.” But according to sources close to the production, that 18th century work is actually Jane Austen’s little known and perhaps less celebrated “Lady Susan,” and it will be adapted into a film currently titled “Love And Friendship.”
Sharper and sexier than the Austen you might know, and perhaps more in line with the works of Oscar Wilde, the story follows a widowed woman trying to find a husband for herself and her daughter. In a break from other books of the time, Lady Susan is active in pursuit of a new beau, and yet has a relationship to a married man as well. Of course, how Stillman puts this basic premise through his own filter remains to be seen, but it’s intriguing material nonetheless and something we could see him having great fun with.
The article also says that Stillman was previously working on an adaptation of The Watsons, but curiously doesn’t mention Metropolitan, Stillman’s 1990 film about rich kids in New York that was loosely based on Mansfield Park. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, try it and see what you think. (It’s available on Netflix streaming, if that service is available to you.)