Whit Stillman’s “Love and Friendship” to start filming this month


Chloe Sevigny and Kate BeckinsaleWe are delighted to pass on the news that Whit Stillman’s film Love and Friendship (which seems to actually be an adaptation of Lady Susan–yes, we know, but Whit Stillman) will begin filming this month in Ireland, according to Variety. Kate Beckinsale will take the role of Lady Susan Vernon (replacing Sienna Miller, who was attached to the role last year when this film was first discussed) and Chloe Sevigny will still be playing “her friend and confidante,” we suppose meaning Mrs. Johnson. The two actors co-starred in Stillman’s film The Last Days of Disco, and of course Janeites know Kate Beckinsale as Emma Woodhouse in the 1997 A&E/BBC television adaptation of Emma.

In the film set in the 1790s, Beckinsale will portray the widow Lady Susan Vernon, who has come to the estate of her in-laws to wait out the rumors about her dalliances that are circulating through polite society. She decides to secure a husband for herself and her rather reluctant debutante daughter.

The cast includes Xavier Samuel as the object of Lady Susan’s affections, and Stephen Fry, who’ll play the long-suffering husband to Lady Susan’s friend and confidante portrayed by Sevigny.

STEPHEN FRY! WHIT STILLMAN! We shall run distracted!

The Playlist has yet more cast members:

The cast also includes Xavier Samuel (“Adore,” “Fury,” “The Twilight Saga”) as the object of Lady Susan’s affections, Stephen Fry as Mr. Johnson, the long-suffering husband to Lady Susan’s friend and confidante Alicia (Sevigny), as well as Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Jemma Redgrave, James Fleet, Tom Bennett and Justin Edwards.

Mrs. Johnson’s first name is Alicia, so that confirms Chloe Sevigny’s role.

Xavier SamuelOhai, Reginald DeCourcy. (Commence swooning!)

We have high hopes for this production. If you haven’t seen Mr. Stillman’s delightful Metropolitan, which is not an adaptation of Mansfield Park precisely but certainly has echoes of it, try to track down the DVD. It’s unfortunately no longer available on Netflix streaming, but the DVD can be rented, and it’s available as a digital rental (and very inexpensive purchase) from Amazon in the U.S. If anyone can produce an Austen adaptation that doesn’t insult our intelligence, it is Whit Stillman. Fingers crossed!

Thanks to Alert Janeite Cinthia for sending us the good news!

2 thoughts on “Whit Stillman’s “Love and Friendship” to start filming this month

  1. You are very welcome, Mags :-).

    Like you, I am beyond myself with this news… Although I wil not be joining the swooning squad 😉 because Reginald de Courcy ranks almost as low as Edmund Bertram in my book.

    On further notes, Whit Stillman has confirmed through Twitter that Emma Greenwell will be Catherine Vernon (nee De Courcy) and Morfydd Clark, Frederica, Lady Susan’s daughter. From I can gather in their filmography, both will be appearing in that infamous undead movie as Caroline Bingley and Georgiana Darcy. *shudder*

    Considering their ages, my guess is that Jemma Redgrave (Lady Bertram in MP3, the 2007 tv movie) and James Fleet (John Dashwood in S&S2 (1995) and and Mr Bennet in Dead Comes to Pemberley) will be in the roles of Lady de Courcy and Sir Reginald.

    It is difficult to predict what roles Tom Bennett and Justin Edwards will play, IMHO 2 characters are possible: Charles Vernon and Manwaring, I imagine a slightly younger actor is being casted as Sir James Martin, but I could be wrong :-).

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