There'll be no Megan Follows, sadly enough. Barbara Hershey will be the 'old' Anne, newcomer Hannah Endicott-Douglas will play the young Anne, and Shirley MacLaine will star as Amelia Thomas.
The miniseries is set to be aired in the U.S. in "fall 2008" - so presumably sometime within the next few weeks.
Click here to see the official website - have a look at the photo gallery, if nothing else. I was practically drooling over the costumes. . . so beautiful! It might be worth watching for the costumes alone!
In other news, a new film version of My Fair Lady is in the works. The release date is set to be sometime in 2010. Guess who's lined up to play Eliza Doolittle? Keira Knightley! I was a little shocked when I first heard - but after the news had sunk in, Keira seemed the most logical choice in the world to play the part. Audrey Hepburn was wonderful in the 1964 version, but Keira Knightley has, in some ways, become today's Audrey Hepburn. She's stunningly beautiful, she's a tremendously talented actress, and she is fast becoming a style icon in her own right. A worthy successor to Hepburn and Julie Andrews in playing Eliza Doolittle. She even looks a bit like Audrey Hepburn, when you think about it!
It will be interesting to see whether she sings or simply mouths someone else's vocals. At first I thought Keira Knightley - in a musical? They'll have to dub her voice, like they did with Audrey Hepburn. . . imagine my surprise when I learnt that in fact Keira has a rather good singing voice! It's true! Have a listen to this Youtube clip of her singing whilst on the set of one of her recent films, The Edge of Love. Who'd have thought that she would have such a sweet singing voice? True, she's not going to be the next Mariah Carey or CeCe Winans, but she can more than carry a tune. I really hope she does sing in My Fair Lady.
Daniel Day-Lewis will be Keira's co-star, playing the eccentric Professor Henry Higgins.
You might be thinking "But with such a brilliant film version of this play already in existence, what would be the point of doing a remake?" Well, apparently they're hoping to flesh out Eliza Doolittle's character a bit more. They are also going to shoot most of the film in London itself (rather than some studio in California) to create a more authentic, believable Edwardian London for the movie. Emma Thompson is writing the screenplay (whoopee! It should be good, then. She did such a good job on Sense and Sensibility), and from what I understand the screenplay will be closer to George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion than the 1964 film. (The musical My Fair Lady was based on Pygmalion, so they're actually just going back to where it all started in the first place. . .)
Speaking of Keira Knightley - there were rumours that she would play the heroine, Catherine Earnshaw, in an upcoming film version of Emily Bronte's classic Wuthering Heights. Actually, back in 2006 it was said that Angelina Jolie would play the part. Then it was Keira Knightley then - wait for it - Lindsay Lohan, then Natalie Portman, then Sienna Miller. . . Finally it has been confirmed that Australian actress Abbie Cornish will play the part. Of course I'm pleased to see a fellow Aussie got the part *grins*, but aside from that, I'm rather glad that they picked a relative unknown - otherwise it would have been like "Oh, there's Angelina Jolie/Natalie Portman/whoever," everytime Catherine came onscreen. Yes, I am glad that it will be an (comparatively) unknown face playing Cathy. At least it won't be Lindsay Lohan! Not that I have anything personal against Lindsay Lohan, but, well, I'm sure anyone who's remotely familiar with the character of Catherine Earnshaw will agree with me on this one. . .
Another lesser-known actor is slated in to play Heathcliff - German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender, despite early rumours that Johnny Depp would take the part.
I'm not a massive fan of Wuthering Heights myself. It's mostly Heathcliff that I don't like. I get so frustrated with him, I just want to shake him, strangle him - "Heathcliff you doof, can't you see you're destroying Cathy's life?! If you really loved her you'd go away and leave her alone, rather than persist in tormenting the life out of her. . . GNGRRNG!" I do apologise to all Heathcliff fans - but I honestly just can't stand the man.
Wuthering Heights will be released sometime in 2010. What is it with all these 2010 films?! *Sighs* it's such a long time to wait! It will certainly be a year of (hopefully) good movies - Wuthering Heights, My Fair Lady, and, most importantly, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader!
Photo by Pete Barnes, from his blogspot
Oh, and while you're in a cinematical mood, have a look at RottenTomatoes.com's list of the best animated films of all time. You might be surprised to see which one comes in first!