This Week in Period Dramas – Sunday News Roundup 9th July 2017

July 9, 2017

It’s been a hectic week for period drama news, with a huge BBC adaptation getting its full cast and information being released about several much-anticipated feature films. Join us this week and get caught up –

Full cast announced for the BBC’s Little Women

There’s been a flurry of exciting casting announcements this week for the BBC’s new adaptation for the Louise May Alcott classic, Little Women. A story beloved by generations, it follows the life of four young sisters as they’re raised by their mother whilst their father is away at war. This new version will be directed by My Mad Fat Diary‘s Vanessa Caswill.

Emily Watson will play Marmee, whilst Angela Lansbury will play their wealthy relative Aunt March. Michael Gambon will be taking on the role of the girls’ neighbour, Mr Lawrence and Jonah Hauer-King will play his grandson Laurie. The four sisters will be played by up and coming actresses – Maya Hawke (daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman) will play Jo, Willa Fitzgerald will play Meg, Annes Elwy will take on Beth and Kathryn Newton will be portraying Amy.

L-R Hawke (Jo), Fitzgerald (Meg), Elwy (Beth), Newton (Amy)

Trailer and London Film Festival announcement for Breathe

The trailer has been released for the directorial debut of Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis, titled Breathe. Set in the late 1950s, it follows the story of Robin Cavendish, a man who became one of the longest-living polio survivors in Great Britain. Starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, it’s due to be released in mid-October 2017.

Three weeks before that wide release date, Breathe has also been announced as the opening film at the 2017 London Film Festival, marking an auspicious start to the film’s box office performance. Check out the trailer below –

Maxine Peake joins Mike Leigh’s new period drama

Iconic director Mike Leigh has hired actress Maxine Peake (Silk, The Village) as one of the leads in his new period drama, Peterloo. At the moment she’s the only confirmed cast member, with many details about the film being kept secret, even though it’s now being filmed.

One known fact, as the title would suggest, is that the film will focus on the Peterloo massacre of 1819, when the British army was sent to attack protestors in Manchester during the economic depression. It became a national tragedy, with 15 people dead and hundreds injured.

The castles of Outlander report a surge in visitors

Historical Environment Scotland have found that the Scottish castles featured in the romantic drama Outlander have seen a huge increase in visitors over the last year. For example, Doune Castle (which keen movie fans will also recognise as the setting for Monty Python and the Holy Grail), featured prominently in Outlander as the setting for Castle Leoch and saw 50% more visitors over the last year.

With Outlander now reaching terrestrial televisions, there’s a great hope that this will bring even more tourism to the scenic attractions.

Check in with us next Sunday for our next news roundup.

More about Jen Scouler

Jen Scouler is a magazine journalist, film critic and the founder of Lost In Drama. With degrees in both English Literature and Digital Journalism, she has experience of writing for popular print and online publications. Jen is also devoted to her metaphorical novelist aunties - Aunt Jane, Charlotte and Ursula are particular favourites - and is usually found with an Earl Grey tea in hand.

Speak your mind, dear reader.

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