I liked a lot of Nora Ephron’s movies and, as praised as she was, I think her voice as a screenwriter is undervalued in today’s landscape of paper-thin romantic comedies (that is when they’re making rom-coms at all, the genre is temporarily on the wane). Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle were all quite good and had a strong authorial voice. While something like Heartburn might lack the polish of her later work, it’s a commendably raw bit of semi-autobiographical commercial writing.
So I think it’s good news that an equally independent voice, Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia (and formerly of the amazing band Sleater-Kinney) is tackling some of Ephron’s unfinished work. Ephron was in the midst of adapting Lost in Austen, a film based on the U.K. TV series, when she died in 2012. Brownstein is a writer on Portlandia, but this will mark her feature film writing debut. In the film, “Amanda lives and works in present day Brooklyn, until she suddenly finds herself transported into the fictional world of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.” Hit the jump for more on Lost in Austen. Columbia Pictures, Neal Street Productions and Good Universe are producing.
LOS ANGELES, CA (August 5, 2014) – Columbia Pictures, Neal Street Productions and Good Universe announced today that multi-hyphenate Peabody winner and Emmy® nominated writer Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia) has been tapped to complete work on LOST IN AUSTEN based on the original UK television series. LOST IN AUSTEN will be the first feature writing project for Brownstein and was one of Nora Ephron’s unfinished works.
Brownstein is the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of IFC’s hit comedy Portlandia and is also a musician. She will next appear in Jill Soloway’s Transparent for Amazon and Todd Haynes’ Carol, which stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
“Carrie is smart and funny and original, and the project is very lucky to have her,” said Sam Mendes, producer and partner of Neal Street Productions.
In LOST IN AUSTEN, Amanda lives and works in present day Brooklyn, until she suddenly finds herself transported into the fictional world of Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”.
LOST IN AUSTEN is based on the original UK television series written by Guy Andrews and produced by Mammoth Screen. Columbia Pictures, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris of Neal Street Productions, and Nathan Kahane of Good Universe will produce. Damien Timmer & Michele Buck of Mammoth Screen and Nicolas Brown of Neal Street will executive produce alongside John Middleton, Roy Lee and Joe Drake. Erin Westerman will oversee for Good Universe.
Dan Freedman of Good Universe negotiated Brownstein’s deal on behalf of the producers. Brownstein is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Morris Yorn.
Here’s a Sleater-Kinney video from YouTube: