'Darker' Pride and Prejudice in development for ITV

'Darker' Pride and Prejudice in development for ITV

Mammoth Screen is reportedly developing a new “darker” adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for ITV.

The company, which also makes "Poldark" and "Victoria", has commissioned playwright Nina Raine, of National Theatre play Consent, to adapt Jane Austen’s novel to tease out “darker tones” according to RadioTimes.com.

Raine revealed her first TV adaptation would feature the book’s “less bonnet-y” aspects. She said: "Pride and Prejudice is actually a very adult book, much less bonnet-y than people assume. I hope I do justice to Austen’s dark intelligence – sparkling, yes, but sparkling like granite.”

The dates and cast for the production and broadcast are still to be confirmed but it could reportedly air as early as 2020.

Mammoth’s m.d Damien Timmer said: “In this age of the box set – with audiences loving to binge on complex, serialised dramas – it feels absolutely right to reassess the great classics. Every generation needs its own adaptation of this perfect novel.

“Nina Raine is one of the most gifted writers working today, and her wit and emotional intelligence make her the perfect match for Jane Austen. She’s a devoted fan of the book, but she’s never seen any previous adaptations – so pleasingly the novel only exists in her imagination”.

The news comes 22 years after Andrew Davies' famous adaptation for the BBC, which made a star of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. 

It also joins Mammoth's various other book adaptations which have been recently announced. In June ITV announced it was making a seven-part adaptation of Vanity Fair with Mammoth and Amazon Studios.

Other forthcoming Mammoth adaptations include China Miéville's 2009 noir thriller The City and the City (Macmillan) adapted by Tony Grisoni and starring David Morrissey for BBC2 as well as a fourth series of "Poldark" for BBC1 and a new series based on Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses (originally published by Random House Children’s in 2001).

It is also making HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds for BBC1 and Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence, starring Bill Nighy and adapted by Sarah Phelps.