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During the last year or so, since it was announced, there has been an appalling lack of information regarding this latest cinematic version of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Northanger Abbey will be the last of Austen's six major novels to be brought to the screen during the past eight years. Below and in the following pages are links and news bits that I have discovered while searching for information to satisfy my own curiosity. I hope to be able to help you do the same.

The New York Times   "And I Quote..."   The Republic of Pemberley  
Andrew Davies   News.Telegraph   The Independent
JA Conference: 4/01   The JA Centre Forum   The Bath Chronicle
The JA Centre   The BBC   DVD Daily   Mr. Showbiz   Penguin Books
The Sunday Independant   CBC Infoculture   Cinema Paradiso

The New York Times
  • Quoting from an article: "Mr. Amis failed to produce a literary hit for Miramax, and his screenplay, an adaptation of Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey," did not fare much better. A Miramax spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, said that Harvey Weinstein, the company's co-chairman, "was thrilled with the adaptation." But the script never went into productio because, Mr. Hiltzik said, "we weren't able to find a director." Directors are not currently being sought."
    March 11,2004
"And I Quote..."
  • In a recent e-mail from Mr. Davies regarding the future of NA2, he stated that ITV still maintains the rights to Northanger Abbey, however, Costume Dramas are notoriously expense to film and with current budget cuts, the project has been continually delayed.

    We can only wait and hope. E-mails to ITV have be unreturned.
    March 10,2004
The Republic of Pemberley
  • News from the Republic of Pemberley has it from Andrew Davies:
    "Great news on the Northanger Abbey front. Granada TV (who have merged with London Weekend Television in September 2002) have acquired my script back from Miramax, and plan to produce it next year."
    December 2, 2002
From the Horse's Mouth
  • I was privileged to be at a reception with Andrew Davies tonight, when the topic turned, of course, to the shelved Northanger Abbey script. His news was that as of that week, Mirimax had discarded the Amis script after all, giving him hope that all was not lost for his work.
    July 30, 2002
  • Martin Amis is to launch himself on Hollywood by adapting a Jane Austen novel into a romantic comedy film for teenagers.

    Amis, the author of dark satires such as London Fields and Money, is writing the screenplay for Northanger Abbey, the only Austen novel not to have been made into a feature film.

    Last week Amis confirmed his new role, and said he was already halfway through writing the screenplay, which he expected to finish by July. "I am greatly enjoying it," he said. "Jane Austen is a genius, and Northanger Abbey is hugely underrated."

    Click here to read the rest of the article....
    May 5, 2002
  • Boy fiction meets girl fiction. Martin Amis, the novelist of intellectual laddism, is to adapt Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen's lightest and most playful novel, for Hollywood. No, we do not expect the importation of a cast of beer-swilling thugs into the period setting of Georgian Bath......
    Click here to read the rest of the article....

    Martin Amis, intermittent darling of the British literary scene, is working as a scriptwriter to turn Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey into a Hollywood teen flick... The writer, who is already halfway through the screenplay, said: "I am greatly enjoying it. Jane Austen is a genius, and Northanger Abbey is hugely underrated."
    Click here to read the rest of the article....
    May 6, 2002
Collected News from 11/00 to 4/01
  • Harvey Weinstein Sometime after Andrew Davies' script was sold to Miramax in the fall of 2000, the company then employed a new script writer to edit the existing text. I found this information in November of 2000, at In Hollywood. The film is still listed as being "in production" on this site, though it has been removed from the Internet Movie Database. It has a listed operating budget of somewhere around 9 million dollars. Harvey Weinstein is listed as producer, though he is Miramax's executive producer and would, no doubt, be listed on most of their films. The film has been taken off Racheal Leigh Cook's biography, but this does not mean that she is no longer cast.

    Many of you know about Jane Austen Week, which was held in Madison, Wisconsin at the end of April. One of the conference speakers was Andrew Davies. Of course the fate of NA2 was brought up during Q&A time. One attendee wrote:"I had my hand up during his Q&A after his presentation (by the way, it was a riot) to ask about Northanger Abbey, when someone else asked exactly my question. It seems that he was writing a script for NA at the same time that Miramax (I believe) was working on a NA project in the US. The two groups decided to pool their resources so Harvey Weinstein bought the rights to Davies's script. After Mansfield Park was such a critical and box office failure, Harvey Weinstein decided to shelf the movies. As a result, Andrew Davies has no access to his script and the project is dead (at least for the time being). Andrew Davies was quite bitter about it."
The Jane Austen Centre in Bath: Posted on the Message board by Toril
  • We have been waiting for news about the new adaptation of Northanger Abbey for some time now. There have been all kinds of rumours going around, and I am now in a position to report straight from the horse's mouth (no offence, Andrew Davies). I am afraid it is not good news.

    On Tuesday 12. September 2000 Andrew Davies gave a talk about adapting the classics at the British Library in London, and was asked about the aforementioned rumours. He has indeed written a screenplay for Northanger Abbey, but he does not think it will ever actually go into production.

    This is the story so far:
    Andrew Davies wrote the screenplay for London Weekend Television (a production company for the British commercial television station ITV), but at some point they were seduced (Davies' own word) into selling the rights to the American film production company Miramax. There has been little progress since then. Davies' own take on the matter is that Miramax were planning their own production of Northanger Abbey and bought his screenplay to bury it. Following the disappointment of Miramax' recent production of Mansfield Park (what else did they expect considering their choice of screenwriter/director?), they seem now to have completely gone off Jane Austen. So we now seem to be both left without the prospect of another awful Jane Austen adaptation from Miramax and a controversial but exciting one from Andrew Davies. Davies does not think he will be able to buy the screenplay back from Miramax, nor does he think he will be able to write a new one. Andrew Davies seemed to be rather disappointed by the current state of affairs, but hardly as disappointed as the rest of us. Jenny Uglow, who was interviewing Davies at the British Library, had read his screenplay for Northanger Abbey and could tell us that it would have raised more than one eyebrow. I would have been more than happy to have mine exercised by Mr Davies.
    September 13, 2000
The Bath Chronicle
  • A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to Bath, bringing with her a special edition of the Bath Chronicle, "The Jane Austen Years" (dated July 3, 2000), which she picked up in the Jane Austen Centre, for 50p. Along with fascinating info on the different films, and Jane Austen, herself, it stated that filming had recently concluded in Bath on a new adaptation of "Northanger Abbey". This was consistent with the information, however unreliable, provided by the cabbie in Bath, on the subject.

    However, to quote a very reliable source:
    "They have not started yet, I can confidently assure you. Without giving anything away I have been told, not in so many words by a reliable source that the reason for the hold up was like Emma there were 2 production groups planning to make the film and there were 2 scripts. These 2 companies have now resolved to do a joint production. I do not know whose script is being used. I have been informed that I will be told as soon as the dates can be made public...I can tell you that filming is unlikely this year. I would think that spring next year is favourite."
    September 1, 2000
The Jane Austen Centre in Bath
  • Filming to start soon- at last! I am reliably informed that filming will start soon on the newest adaptation of the Bath based Northanger Abbey. As mentioned previously, it is being made as a collaboration between Granada TV, LWT and Miramax. It will feature unknown actors and the screenplay is by Andrew Davis. We will be out there with our cameras.
    June 15, 2000
BBC Entertainment
  • First Austen novel set for big screen American actress Rachael Leigh Cook is to star in a screen adaptation of Jane Austen's first novel, Northanger Abbey. The film, being adapted by British writer Andrew Davies, is a co- production between Miramax, Granada Films and London Weekend Television.
    It is the second in a two-film deal Cook signed with Miramax after she starred in the comedy She's All That. Cook is currently starring for Miramax in the black comedy Never Better.
    September 1, 1999

DVD Daily
    Rachael Leigh Cook
  • Yet another Jane Austen novel is slated for a feature future, this time Austen's gothic romance, "Northanger Abbey." Miramax, which released Paltrow's delightful turn as Austen's Emma, is planning a $6 mil adaptation of the novel, to be scripted by Circle of Friends scribe Andrew Davies. Lensing on "Abbey" will begin this fall in the English city of Bath, but little else is known about the production except that the lead, Catherine Morland, will likely be played by a newcomer, and that, according to author Davies: "There will be one or two scenes in which Catherine will imagine things that should never happen to young girls." (?!) If that "Abbey" is a little too far away, Austen fans are invited to take a stroll in "Mansfield Park," which bows on November 5 (1999) from "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing" director Patricia Rozema.
    May 25, 1999

Mr. Showbiz
  • And finally, it worked wonders for the careers of Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow. Will playing a Jane Austen heroine look as good on the resume of She's All That's Rachael Leigh Cook? Variety says Cook is in negotiations to star in a Miramax-produced adaptation of Northanger Abbey, Austen's first novel. Andrew Davies, who penned the BBC's highly acclaimed, five-hour adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, released in 1995, has completed a script for the film, but no director has yet become attached. Cook made a splash in January when the critically panned teen romance She's All That in which she starred opposite Freddie Prinze Jr.topped the box office in its opening weekend and eventually rang up $63 million in ticket sales. (1999)

Penguin Books
  • This is a Hal/Miramax Films production with LWT and Granada Films, currently in production for a release in 2000. Andrew Davies (Vanity Fair, Emma) has written the screenplay.

The Sunday Independant
  • This is an article that appeared in the British newspaper, The Sunday Independant, July 12, 1998. While reader discretion is advised (you may be a bit surprised at what it has to say) bear in mind that rumors flew rampant over the productions of both Mansfield Park (Miramax, 1999) and Pride and Prejudice (BBC/A&E, 1995) which, upon review of the finished products, proved to be unfounded. Hope springs eternal! :~D

CBC Infoculture
  • Another Jane Austen novel is being dusted off for the big screen. This time, Miramax films is co-producing Northanger Abbey. It's a $9 million feature adaptation of Jane Austen's first published novel.
    Shooting begins this fall in Bath, an historic city to about 150 kilometres southwest of London and well-known to Austen. Bath is noted for its handsome 18th century architecture.
    Casting remains to be decided, but since the lead character, Catherine Morland, is a teenager in Northanger Abbey, the role could end up going to a newcomer.
    Miramax released a screen version of Jane Austen's Emma in 1996 with Gwyneth Paltrow in the title role. This fall it will also release Canadian director Patricia Rozema's adaptation of Austen's Mansfield Park.
    May 25, 1998
    Information Copyright of CBC Infoculture

Cinema Paradiso
  • What one means one day, you know, one may not mean the next. Miramax Films skal sammen med Granada Films og London Weekend Television samarbeide om en filmatisering av Jane Austens debutroman Northanger Abbey til den nette sum av $6 millioner. Avtalen gjenforener Miramax og Granada som sist samarbeidet på Min venstre fot med Daniel Day-Lewis i 1989. Manus er skrevet av Andrew Davies (Vennekretsen), men det er ennå ingen regissør knyttet til prosjektet. Det er heller ikke ansatt noen skuespillere, selv om det antaes at hovedfiguren, den 18 år gamle Catherine Morland, muligens kommer til å bli spilt av en nykommer. Den gotiske kjærlighetshistorien fokuserer på de romantiske hendelsene i livet til Morland. Austen er kjent territorium for Miramax, som filmatiserte Emma med Gwyneth Paltrow i hovedrollen, og som har ansvaret for en filmatisering av Mansfield Park som kommer til høsten.

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