Jane Austen’s Persuasion is officially coming to Netflix. While many can’t contain their excitement for the cinematic adaptation of Austen’s final novel, the newly released trailer has annoyed many Jane Austen fans, with internet commentary indicating that the streaming giants thoroughly missed the tone of the original novel.
Austen’s sixth novel, which was published six months prior to her death in 1817, tells the story of isolated 27-year-old Anne, who will be played by Dokora Johnson, the middle child of an aristocrat who finds herself stuck living with her insufferable family and longing after a lost love Frederick Wentworth, played by Cosmo Jarvis.
Although the trailer appears to promise to follow the story of the original 1817 novel, Austen internet fans have alleged that Netflix creatives have turned this Regency-era romance classic into a quirky, frothy rom-com.
The trailer also shows a less traditional look for Anne, inaccurate dialect, and what many fans are saying is a butchered English accent.
According to Cathal Gunning from Screenrant, Netflix’s success with their 2020 quirkier adaptation of Emma has somehow convinced Netflix creatives that all of Austen’s works can be rewritten into the same rom-com genre.
“Standout lines like ‘We were worse than ex’s—we were friends’ are (as well as being cringe-worthy), evidence that Anne Elliot has been turned into an Emma Woodhouse/Elizabeth Bennett-Esque heroine,” she writes.
Sharing the same sentiments, one Austen fan tweeted “not to be a pedant but I’m pretty sure no one in 1813 or whenever used the expression ‘exes.'” Another added, “this isn’t Anne or Wentworth, you’ve changed their whole personalities and they’re now different characters. they’re literally unrecognizable.”
Here’s the thing – a lot of Austen is funny, but Persuasion isn’t. It’s sad, wistful and full of regret. If Netflix want a funny regency novel for the Bridgerton treatment, why not go with Northanger Abbey? Or literally ANY Georgette Heyer who has about 7 million unadapted books?
— Ruth Ware (@RuthWareWriter) June 14, 2022
what annoys me the most about netflix’s version of persuasion is that they obviously wanted to give the story a modern twist so why not make it a modern romance inspired by the book instead of the cheap period piece they did
— ً (@maevemilley) June 14, 2022
However, there is a chance that Persuasion‘s trailer may be misleading, as some promotional materials are notoriously known to advertise upcoming films differently than that of the final product.
While it remains unclear to see how successful the newest Austen adaptation will be, judging by online reaction, Netflix’s Persuasion will need to pull through a lot to sway the opinions of Austen fans that the film hasn’t profoundly missed the mark with its adaptation of the novel.
Persuasion 2022 will be available for streaming on July 15 2022.