This Week in Period Dramas – Sunday News Roundup 6th August 2017

August 6, 2017

As with most entertainment in August, news has been fairly quiet this week. That’s why I hope you’ll forgive me for missing a week – the Lost In Drama offices had a change of location that didn’t leave much time for writing! However, we’ve still got a few good stories for you this week, so grab a cup of tea and get stuck in…

First trailer released for convent-set period drama Novitiate

Set in 1964, Novitiate is a new film starring the eternally fantastic Melissa Leo and Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) as nuns in a strict Catholic school. It centres itself around the Vatican II era, when changes in the Catholic church made a huge impact on the lives of those serving the mission. Check out the first trailer below.

Novitiate has got a hint of the Oscar-worthy about it, not least because after a striking debut at the Sundance Festival, the distribution rights were sensationally purchased in a seven figure deal by Sony Pictures Classics. Directed and written by contemporary filmmaker Margaret Betts, the appearance of Melissa Leo certainly seems like one to watch too. Always fantastic, she won an Oscar in 2010 for The Fighter – this film may make her a contender for another trophy. It’s due to be released on October 27, 2017.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers joins Henry James adaptation The Aspern Papers

With production underway in Italy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) has been added to the cast of the The Aspern Papers, a new Henry James adaptation directed by Julien Landais. This is Landais’ first feature film, following his extensive work creating short films in the fashion industry. James Ivory of the legendary Merchant Ivory films is also on board as Executive Producer.

Set in Venice in 1885, the story follows a mysterious writer (Rhys Meyers) obsessed with a famous romantic poet. He searches for the poet’s mistress (Vanessa Redgrave) and, with ambiguous motives, tries to seduce her niece (Joely Richardson). The release date is as yet unconfirmed.

Victoria becomes a family reunion for Jenna Coleman

Period drama Victoria recruited a very special extra in the form of lead star Jenna Coleman’s granddad for the new season. In a new Instagram post (see below), Coleman shared a photo of herself and her grandfather in full Victorian dress, naming him as taking on the exciting role of ‘Man In Crowd’.

There’s also a slight indication of what to expect later in season 2 – do we detect another baby bump?

When your Grandad comes to work day. #manincrowd 🙌🏻👋🏻👋🏻 @victoriaseries

A post shared by Jenna Coleman (@jenna_coleman_) on

Radio Times asks – will TV series Outlander overtake the books?

The rule is normally simple when it comes to adaptations – the source material comes first, the screen version later. If the later version races ahead of the original, it’s usually because they’re unfinished, such as Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood. However, as Game of Thrones shows, there’s a particularly modern problem when it comes to adapting literary serials that aren’t yet finished. This can lead to the adaptation spoiling the source material before it’s had a chance to finish.

In an article this week, Radio Times looked into the chance of this issue happening with Outlander. Current audiences will be seeing season 3 soon and they’re working through the novels at the rate of one season a book. There’s eight books in total, with author Diana Gabaldon working on the next one currently. Fortunately, the showrunners are keen to emphasise that this won’t be a Game of Thrones situation, with executive producer Ronald D Moore stating: ‘I can’t imagine a scenario where we catch up to Diana. She will tell us the end of the story.’ Great news for book fans!

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 Jo are particular favourites - and is usually found with an Earl Grey tea in hand.

Speak your mind, dear reader.

%d bloggers like this: