Focus Picks up Screen Rights for Pride and Prejudice Spinoff Longbourn
Longbourn, a new novel from Jo Baker which tells the story of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the servants' position, is creating a lot of heat in the publishing world. The novel will be published this Fall by Transworld in the UK; Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S.; and Random House in Canada, with film rights picked up by Random House Studio and Focus Features. "Jane Austen was my first experience of grown-up literature," Baker said. "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." Focus Features, which released Joe Wright's PRIDE & PREJUDICE in 2005, is the perfect company to bring to the screen a story that follows Austen's world of balls and romance downstairs to where the servants are keeping it all together. For Focus CEO James Schamus, "Jo Baker fully inhabits the lives of her characters - and in Longbourn, they are ones who previously existed in the background only. By compellingly exploring new avenues in the world of Pride and Prejudice she has fashioned a tale of a caliber that filmmakers dream about. We are delighted to be partnering again with our friends and colleagues at Random House Studio to co-finance and produce what will be a highly anticipated motion picture for audiences worldwide."
For the complete press release, go here.