ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill and co pro partner Masterpiece has commissioned an adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon from writer Andrew Davies and Red Planet Pictures.
Executive produced by Red Planet Pictures’ Creative Director, Belinda Campbell and Masterpiece’s Rebecca Eaton, Austen’s original 11-chapter fragment has been extended into a 8×60 minute drama series.
ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill said: “It’s a rich, romantic, family saga built upon the foundations Jane Austen laid. There is no one better to adapt her unfinished novel than Andrew who has an incredible track record for bold and original adaptations. We’re delighted to commission Sanditon from Belinda Campbell and her team at Red Planet Pictures.”
Red Planet Pictures’ Executive Producer, Belinda Campbell said: “Andrew Davies’ compelling scripts bear all the hallmarks of the biting social commentary and realism that makes Jane Austen one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Sanditon’s themes of class divide, ambition, power play and matters of the heart are as relevant today as they were in the early 19th century and we can’t wait to bring this incredible adaptation to life for ITV audiences to enjoy.”
Masterpiece’s Executive Producer, Rebecca Eaton said: “Jane Austen and Andrew Davies are a match made in Masterpiece heaven. We can’t wait to introduce our audience to this wise and wonderful drama.” Masterpiece is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.
Screenwriter and Executive Producer, Andrew Davies said: “Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died – but what a fragment! Sanditon tells the story of the transformation of a sleepy fishing village into a fashionable seaside resort, with a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress, and quite a bit of nude bathing. It’s been a privilege and a thrill for me to develop Sanditon into a TV drama for a modern audience.”
Sanditon is a Red Planet Pictures production commissioned for ITV by Polly Hill and Masterpiece by Rebecca Eaton. Created by Jane Austen, it is written and executive produced by Andrew Davies with Belinda Campbell as Executive Producer for Red Planet Pictures and Rebecca Eaton as Executive Producer for Masterpiece. Series producer is Georgina Lowe, and casting director is Jill Trevellick.  Casting will be announced soon, with filming expected to start in Spring 2019. BBC Studios is distributing the series internationally.

Jon Creamer

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