This Week in Period Dramas – Sunday News Roundup 20th August 2017

August 20, 2017

News comes in waves, and since last week felt like a tsunami of big news, this week has been much quieter! Still, we’ve got a few exciting first looks at upcoming period dramas, and a couple of long reads that fans of the genre will enjoy. Grab a cup of tea and lets get started…

Saoirse Ronan is Mary, Queen of Scots in first photo

This week we got the first look at an exciting upcoming movie Mary Queen of Scots, showing Saoirse Ronan in the titular role. Ronan has been no stranger to period dramas over the years, with her exceptional aptitude for accents and ability to transform for a variety of different eras. This photo gives us an excellent idea of the time in Mary Queen of Scots’ life that the film will focus on and Ronan looks fully realised as the iconic historical figure.

The film will also star Jack Lowden as Mary’s bad egg of a second husband Dudley, and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, Mary’s cousin/mortal enemy. House of Cards creator Beau Willimon has penned the script, based on John Guy’s biography My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots.

As to the direction the historical drama will take, that’s still something of a mystery but it’s likely that anyone who reads Guy’s biography will have a sneak preview.

A 360-view of the Poldark season 4 read-through

The Poldark team shared a 360-degree video of their first season 4 read-through, and it’s a bit of an exercise in eyesight! With a huge group of people, the video lasts just two seconds so if you want to actually spot any well-known faces, it takes a bit of pausing and adjusting. However, here’s a hint if you’re searching for the main cast: swivel left and you’ll see Eleanor Tomlinson in the middle, with fan favourites Luke Norris, Heida Reed and Jack Farthing sitting close by. That bearded face behind the vape smoke? That’s Poldark himself, Aidan Turner. Always one to cause trouble.

Why we shouldn’t apologise for Jane Austen

The Guardian published an editorial this week on the snobbery that often surrounds Jane Austen and her fan base. Rather frustratingly, there’s no author named on this one, but whoever wrote it does a concise and excellent job of summing up common discussions around the perception of Jane Austen’s work and how the modern world has used it. A great extract goes as follows:

Austen ‘is merciless in dissecting human folly, of course, but also in her honesty. Her heroines often face grim choices, only lightly concealed by the gallantry and their happy endings. She writes about the bleakness of ill-matched marriages, and the pain of living with the knowledge that you have made a terrible mistake. It is not a cosy environment, merely a contained one.’

The sweeping period drama lost in development hell

The Weinstein Company have been behind some of the biggest Oscar winners in the last 20 years, including a huge number of period dramas. If you’re something of a nerd about the film industry, you might’ve noticed something particularly strange in the last few years. One of Harvey Weinstein’s statement (aka. Oscar bait-y) films – Tulip Fever, set in 17th century Netherlands and starring Alicia Vikander – was filmed in 2014 and has only now been given a wide release date of 1 September 2017.

The trailer posted below has been shown in cinemas repeatedly over the last few years and yet the Weinstein Company keep pulling it before the feature reaches the big screen. Is the film terrible, or is this a sign of bigger problems for one of the film industry’s biggest production companies? One thing’s for sure – this is definitely weird. Check out this Vulture article for the full details of the story, and this Twitter post for a new update from just today!

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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