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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice will get turned into a film or TV show at least once a decade.

Okay, so last year’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was what you might call a loose interpretation, but 12 years ago saw the release of not one but two film versions. Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen took the lead roles in Atonement director Joe Wright‘s feature debut, while Aishwarya Rai played a character based on Elizabeth Bennet in a Bollywood take on the popular 1813 novel.

Before that, of course, came the classic 1995 BBC TV series, when Jennifer Ehle and a rather damp Colin Firth starred as Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy in what some have called the ultimate small screen adaptation of Jane Austen‘s work.

And now, according to, the makers of Poldark and Victoria are the latest to throw their bonnet in the ring.

Except there might not be many frilly bonnets in this version. Mammoth Screen is apparently working on an adaptation that will focus on the novel’s “darker tones,” commissioning playwright Nina Raine to write the retelling for U.K. channel ITV.

Pride and Prejudice is actually a very adult book, much less bonnet-y than people assume,” said Raine of the project. “I hope I do justice to Austen’s dark intelligence – sparkling, yes, but sparkling like granite.”

It’s fair to say reaction online has been mixed, with some people expressing confusion:

While some turned to Austen-esque expressions to voice their concern:

And others struck a more positive note:

So, is a new version of the book really necessary? On this point, Mammoth Screen managing director Damien Timmer had the following to say:

“In this age of the box set – with audiences loving to binge on complex, serialized dramas – it feels absolutely right to reassess the great classics. Every generation needs its own adaptation of this perfect novel.”

We’ll have to see if we agree when the series makes it to air.

What do you think of this classic getting the small screen treatment again?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.