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Casting Scoop: All Things British!

Hello, hello again! So this morning I am taking a break from reviews and such to share a new casting bit and some exciting news regarding the ITV series The Bletchley Circle. Thanks to it being picked up by ITV this past spring, it has earned a second series pick up. This leaves me really excited to say the least - and according to Digital Spy, also joining the cast will be Hattie Morahan, whom we all may remember from the delightful 2008 version of Sense and Sensibility.

Also in the news of British casting scoops is finally more about Death Comes to Pemberly - the newly commissioned BBC serial we discussed way back in February. Cast as (according to Zap2It and other sources) Mr. Wickham is Matthew Goode and playing the esteemed Mr. Darcy himself will be Matthew Rhys.

Excuse me while I try to process this potentially horrible miscast for a moment...
 
Hello, creepy what's-his-name villain in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  
 
Hello, better-looking version of said villain.


Okay, I am back.

Also joining the cast of 'Pemberly' will be Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth and much as I like her... I am unsure of her being a "good" choice also. If nothing else, I know she'll turn in a magnificent performance as she is a talented actress.

Set to make a late 2013 debut, Death Comes to Pemberley will mark a 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Your turn!
Anyone with thoughts, please do chime in.
As always, I'd love to read them.

18 comments

  1. Hmmmm...interesting. Didn't love "Pemberley" the book, though it was okay. Ugh, that guy...doesn't work for me as Darcy. Bother. Then again...few people except Colin Firth would. ;) Hmmm -- Anna might work as Elizabeth though. At least I like that one better. Good post! :)

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    1. Interesting; it is that, Charity.

      Once it rolls around, I may warm to this idea. But really!? I mean what is it with these guys producers and such are casting! I mean, really!? First Richard and now Matthew as *gulp* Mr. Darcy!?

      Guess we'll just hope for the best.

      Anna is very talented. If nothing else, she'll be impressive there.

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    2. Ha, I know you won't agree so much...but we already tried a Matthew as Mr. Darcy? And IMHO -- no. Bad. Not good. ;) But that's just me.

      Maybe there'll be a last minute casting change...and maybe he'll totally ace the role. We'll see, I guess! :) Anna is a great actress...trying to remember what I saw her in...(goes to check imdb.com ) -- AH! I knew it. I should've thought about it longer. North and South (tell me you've seen that...) and Bleak House (good one, know you've seen THAT one!). I need to see Becoming Jane too...someday. :)

      Love these discussions, Rissi!

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    3. LOL! You know me too well, Charity. Each time I've watched the 2005 version of P&P, Matthew has grown on me more and more.

      You said it: only time will tell us how Matthew will play this role. Anna has a wide variety of roles under her belt and like you, I think she's a wonderful talent. Her Esther is fabulous (even wrote about the character in a Femnista issue) and yes, I adore North and South (how sad she died!). 'Jane' is really a good movie. A lot of viewers didn't care for it (and of course, I am sad it's not a happy ending) but overall, I thought it was delightful. There's a bit of cheek in the humor and the ending isn't as heart wrenching as one might imagine.

      Hope you like when/if you see it!

      Me, too, Charity! Am gonna' miss that this summer. :)

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    4. Sadly, he doesn't grow on me...but, that being said, I laugh at him a little more each time. Awful as it sounds. ;) I'd like to see Macfadyen in something else -- Three Musketeers or Robin Hood. He was in both of those, right?

      Willing to give this Matthew a chance to redeem himself, though -- there is hope! ;) I don't love N&S...just a few minor things that bugged me. Thought it was way too gray my first time through (I'm a happy bright cheerful movie person...you may have guessed). But I like it a bit more now. Still dislike the ending -- I know he was on hard times, but at LEAST he could have dressed in an older suit and looked respectable. Haha, I have that problem with the end of the new P&P too. I don't have time to grab a link now, but I think I reviewed this one? If so, it'd be under a North and South tag. It's been a while.

      <3

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    5. Hey, nothing wrong with that. He's not your "ideal" Darcy and I totally get that - I've had experiences like that.

      As am I - here's hoping Matthew (R) owns the role.

      Really?! You don't like the ending of North & South!? Girl, you are missing its beautiful nuances. I think he is actually carrying his suit coat (maybe?) or perhaps it's in the train but likely they dressed him like that to be more... "sexy." You know, the open shirt collar, etc. Plus he was so "cold" for most the movie, this makes him seem more approachable. N&S is actually one of my favorite period dramas though like you I am a happy-movie-kind-of-girl. It's why I feel like Dickens is worth all the "pain" because his movies end so well (love the ending of Bleak House and am even warming more to the uncertainty of Great Expectations).

      Will have to check your blog for that review. :)

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    6. It was a good ending...but I have this thing about anytime men are out of their house/bedroom wearing less than a full suit. *shivers* Pet peeve, I guess. It's true though, Dickens' endings are usually pretty good! It's too bad Gaskell never finished "Wives and Daughters" -- have you seen that?

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    7. Oh, that's okay! We all have pet peeves that rub us the wrong way - I understand that. :)

      I did see Wives & Daughters, Charity and also adore that one! Didn't realize (or I'd forgotten) that Elizabeth Gaskell didn't finish it. Regardless, the film ending makes up for it. :)

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  2. mmmmmssss....I'm thinking not to the actors. Elizabeth just doesn't look right :( Of course I haven't seen but one version of P&P as a movie...I might be prejudiced *wink wink* I'll probably approach with an open mind and hope for the best :/

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    1. Me, too, Sierra. I mean Anna is very talented but... not sure she's "Elizabeth material." Ah, well. We'll hope for the best - and I like your attitude: approach this with an open mind and who knows what opinions we may form. :)

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  3. Eek. Ouch. Scratch. Yik.

    Nope. Not a fan. At all. Haven't seen Matthew Rhys, and I know you can't judge a book by it's cover or a man by his looks...but wow. Just googled him and my stupification was only increased. Why?? I agree with you - gross miscasting.

    Anna Maxwell Martin, whereas I like her acting...she doesn't LOOK like Elizabeth should. Elizabeth needs to be a good-looking woman and whereas Anna is pretty in a mild, unassuming sort of way, I don't see her as being a Mrs. Darcy at all.

    I've only seen Matthew Goode in his role in Leap Year and loved him as Declan...and it makes me sad to think he'll play the despised Wickham. Besides...I though Wickham was the guy who was murdered in the story? I must be wrong. I haven't actually read the book, heheh. :)

    All in all...not pleased. Sorry to say. But to offer a crumb BBC's direction...I've been mistaken before? Hmmmm.

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    1. Matthew was creepily good as a villain in a Dickens epic. That being said: who decided he'd make a good Darcy!? I mean, really?! This is a crime. Not liking the dude's look at all for Darcy.

      Agree, Anna is a wonderful talent (like what you said about her physical looks: it's right on!) and she could make this role very good. In some sense, she's talented enough to make Elizabeth "her own" and get away with it - plus this is going to be a "mystery" so... who knows! That being said, I am not sure she has the right look to pull of Elizabeth...

      Nope, you are right. In the book, Wickham dies. Perhaps the script is changing that? Or maybe, they'll be several "flashback" scenarios? Never know the creativity that could come of it.

      Always have liked Matthew Goode so it'll be hard to see him as Wickham. :/

      At this time, you and I are thinking very much alike. But I'll keep an open mind. :)

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  4. I loved Matthew Rhys in "Edwin Drood" but... he's in no way a heart-stopper as Darcy. But then, the BBC usually just goes with whoever is in the guild anyway, so we quite often wind up with homely characters (and those 20+ years too old for the part).

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    1. You said it! He's just... not right. Really it's a travesty, Charity.

      Ha! Isn't that the truth. Most actors (even if they are talented) play roles they shouldn't be. Sad really since there is some great young talent as well as veteran.

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  5. I agree with the others. Not so sure I can see Matthew as Darcy. But I'm going to hope maybe make-up and special effects and maybe his acting? will all converge and create a pretty decent Darcy. I'm hoping! I'm dreaming! ;) I'll still be interested in watching it regardless. I mean, it's based on Austen. Of course I want to see it!

    As for Elizabeth...Anna doesn't have the look I would have chosen but as you said, she is an exceptional actress. So I'm okay with her for the part.

    Now! Wonder what it'll turn out like. It's always so hard to tell before hand. Because we haven't actually seen the actors in their parts yet. So I'm definitely still holding out hope of it being well done. Pretty please BBC people? With a cherry on top?

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    1. That's my thought also, Kara. Hoping in spite of some questionable casting now, the production will overall, be grand. Plus being an Austen inspiration, what could be better!? ;)

      Yeah, Anna doesn't have that "look" of Elizabeth however I can attest to her talent so that should make up for a lot. *fingers crossed*

      All we can do is beg BBC to indulge us with a pretty production and the mystery parts of it makes me giddy since I like a good mystery and haven't seen it done before with something from Jane Austen. Should be exceptionally fun - and likely to be creative to boot!

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  6. Great to hear that 'Bletchley' is getting a second series, hopefully a bit longer than 3 episodes! I think Hattie Morahan will be a great addition to the cast. Her 'style' I think fits with the other ladies.

    About Death comes to Pemberley, maybe it's time I actually read the book. Gina (from Dickensblog, she also writes for Femnista) spoke highly of it, I think that's a good recommendation. As to the casting, I actually quite like Matthew Rhys. I think he can do the brooding, introspective hero. Yes, he played a creepy villain in 'Drood', but I hope he's a good actor and therefore versatile. After all, practically all of my favourite period drama actors/actresses have once upon a time played a role very different from my beloved heroes/heroines.

    Anna Maxwell Martin I wouldn't have thought of for Elizabeth, she doesn't seem the right type. She's a great actress, but more introspective and quiet, then spunky. However, she did do spunky in South Riding, so maybe?

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    1. Isn't is just the bees knees, Birdienl!? I am thrilled to find out 'Bletchley Circle' is coming back also. The addition of Hattie will be an asset and she definitely has the "style" to fit in with Anna and the other starring ladies. Anxious to see what else will come from this show - I think it has lots of growing room. Should be good stuff.

      Methinks so too - I plan on reading the novel soon. Right now, that's out of the question as I am busy with other things. Good to know Gina recommends it; I've heard both good and bad about it.

      True. I remember The Scarlet Pimpernel actor (forget his name!) starring in the TNT version of David Copperfield; was so glad I saw the former first because golly, he played the stepfather convincingly, creepily good! That being said, I am still not wild about Matthew but do suspect I'll warm to the idea with time (much as I did with Matthew in 2005's P&P).

      As to Anna, neither would I have. Perhaps this casting will shock us all and fit exactly with our idea of these two characters. That would be the best of both worlds - enjoying a sequel to the classic P&P albeit an unconventional one and seeing actors do the iconic roles justice! ;)

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