After dazzling audiences at the center of this past summer’s biggest love triangle in Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy update of The Great Gatsby, British thesp Carey Mulligan has joined the cast of yet another star-studded adaptation of a literary classic: Thomas Hardy’s renowned nineteenth-century novel Far From The Madding Crowd.
Mulligan will play the lead role of Bathsheba Everdene, a gorgeous and self-possessed young woman who attracts the attention of three very different suitors. Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust & Bone) will portray Gabriel Oak, a lowly sheep farmer captivated by Bathsheba’s independence, Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now) will play William Boldwood, a wealthy but uptight bachelor, and Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio) will play Frank Troy, a dashing and cavalier military man. Talented up-and-comer Juno Temple (Killer Joe) is also set to appear in the romantic drama.
One Day writer David Nicholls penned the screenplay, which producers Allon Reich and Andrew MacDonald have proclaimed “beautifully captures the heart of Hardy’s original.”
At the camera for this adaptation is Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, who previously directed the sublime Mads Mikkelsen drama The Hunt. How the director, known for pioneering the Dogme 95 movement in filmmaking, will put his own distinctive spin on such a classic tale is anyone’s guess, but I’m excited to see how he responds to the challenge. He certainly seems enthusiastic about what will be his English-language debut, saying that it is “a great privilege to bring such a wonderful piece of very English literature to the screen.”
Executive producer Christine Langan had this to say:
David Nicholls’ smart and compelling reworking of Hardy’s classic has found its ideal counterpart in the hugely talented Thomas Vinterberg. The incomparable Carey Mulligan – the perfect Bathsheba – sits at the heart of a mouth-watering cast who will do justice to this rich and irresistible tale.
The film, currently in production, will shoot across England in Dorset, London, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire.
With its terrific cast and period setting, I could easily see Far From The Madding Crowd shaping up to be a real Oscar contender when it’s released next year. Mulligan proved that she can carry a film in An Education and again in Never Let Me Go, so I’m confident that she will be able to pull off the demanding role of Bathsheba.
Are you excited for this project? Has Downton Abbey whet your appetite for more British drama, or do you think Far From The Madding Crowd‘s period setting and old-fashioned storyline will draw mixed reactions? Let me know in the comments section.
Source: First Showing