Masterpiece Contemporary

by Laurie Viera Rigler

Laurie Viera Rigler is the author of RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT 




I had the good fortune to attend a PBS press event that showcased an exciting new film called ENDGAME, a political thriller about the secret, real-life negotiations that led to the end of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela.

I cannot wait to see this movie: It's all about reconciliation and has an irresistible message of hope and compassion. Here's a line from the film:

"Fear binds us all from seeing the humanity of the other."

Endgame_Chiwetel_1_.jpgThat line was spoken by one of the stars of the film, Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The high point of the day was when I was introduced to Chiwetel Ejiofor. Not only is he one of my favorite actors, but also I finally had the opportunity to tell him about an idea I've had ever since I saw him in the film TALK TO ME.

Chiwetel-at-press-tour.jpgAnd this is where Jane Austen comes in. And she always does come in, even when I am watching clips of a film about South African reconciliation. Or 1960s American radio hosts.

Here's the idea: While I was watching TALK TO ME (which I loved so much I saw it twice), I kept thinking that Chiwetel Ejiofor's character, a buttoned-up radio program director who undergoes a fascinating transformation, was a great deal like Mr. Darcy. So much so that I began, right then, to envision a contemporary adaptation of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mr. Darcy.

And so, at last I was able to put that casting idea out there in the world. And most important, leave it with Mr. Darcy himself.

The rest is up to you, Hollywood.

Did I mention that I also got a smile and a hello from ENDGAME co-star Jonny Lee Miller, who just so happens to be playing Mr. Knightley in the new adaptation of EMMA? Endgame_jonnyleemiller.jpg 

Somehow, a film about South Africa had turned into Jane Austen heaven. But then again, as the Editrix of Austenblog puts it, "She's everywhere."

Especially in thrillers produced in England.

ENDGAME will air on PBS's Masterpiece Contemporary on Sunday, Oct. 25 and opens in movie theaters Oct. 30.  

To watch a trailer for ENDGAME, click here.

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