Kudos to make Wide Sargasso Sea for BBC4
I must confess that I had a hint that this production was planned but as I could not find confirmation I chose not to post about it. And now, here it is! From the Guardian:
BBC Wales has commissioned independent producer Kudos to make a BBC4 TV movie based on Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys’s 1966 prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.
The film has been adapted by Stephen Greenhorn, whose other work includes the BBC1 dramas Glasgow Kiss and Derailed, and will star Rafe Spall – last seen on the channel in The Chatterley Affair – and Rebecca Hall, alongside established stars Michael Maloney and Victoria Hamilton.
Set in the lush landscape of Jamaica following the emancipation of slaves in the 1830s, Wide Sargasso Sea tells the story of the arranged marriage between Bertha Mason, a white Creole heiress, and Mr Rochester, who became Jane Eyre’s lover in Bronte’s book, which was published in 1847.
The BBC4 controller, Janice Hadlow, said: “It’s great that Jean Rhys’s captivating prequel to Jane Eyre is being adapted for BBC4 and with such a fantastic cast.”
Filming is under way in Jamaica and in locations around the UK by Kudos, the company behind Spooks, Hustle and Life on Mars.
The drama is being is produced by Elwen Rowlands and directed by Brendan Maher.
This is not the first time the book has been adapted for film. It was made into a movie in 1993 starring Nathaniel Parker and Karina Lombard. Generally thought of as a very pretty looking pornographic film, and a poor adaptation of Rhys’ novel.
ETA: NB: I have just read over the Guardian’s synopsis again and have several errors to address. It is not the story of the marriage of Bertha Mason and Mr Rochester. It is the story of the marriage of Antoinette Cosway and her husband (who is not named).