A Brand New 'Emma' Offers a Sly, Intriguing Take on a Jane Austen Classic

Anna Taylor-Joy in the trailer for "Emma" (Photo: Focus Features)

It's true: Maybe we don't actually need another onscreen adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, given the fact that there's already a fairly great feature film version starring Gwyneth Paltrow and an amazing television adaptation starring Romola Garai out there just waiting for us to watch them. (Whether for the first or fifteenth time.) 

But, since we're getting another one whether we like it or not, it's an unspeakable relief to discover that the trailer for this upcoming 2020 update starring Anna Taylor-Joy looks great.

Austen's beloved classic follows the story of the viacious Emma Woodhouse, the queen bee and champion matchmaker of her small town.  After a series of misguided matches and relationship missteps, can the ultimate romantic find a partner for herself? (Spoiler: Of course she can. This is an Austen story. But it's the journey that's half the fun.) 

Watch the trailer for yourselves below. 

This particular big-screen adaptation is directed by Autumn de Wilde, her debut feature. Perhaps that's why the film already feels as though it has its own quirky sensibility that sets it apart from the tales of Miss Woodhouse we've seen before. Fresh eyes, and all that. 

aylor-Joy, known for her role on Masterpiece period drama The Miniaturist as well as the most recent season of gangster drama Peaky Blindersnot only completely looks the part of Emma, but manages to convey a certain quirky irreverence in every moment she's onscreen. Bill Nighy plays her equally oddball father (and steals every scene in the trailer in which he appears.) They're also joined by Johnny Flynn as Mr. Knightley, Gemma Whelan as Mrs. Weston, The Durrells in Corfu favorite Josh O’Connor as Mr. Elton, Mia Goth as Harriet Smith, Callum Turner as Frank Churchhill and Rupert Graves as Mr. Weston. 

Emma arrives in theaters on February 21, 2020. 

What do you think of the trailer? Does this look like an adaptation of Emma you'd watch? Let's discuss in the comments. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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