Focus Features has released the first trailer for Emma, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as the titular heroine of the new adaptation of Jane Austen‘s novel of the same name. This is just the latest of a number of page-to-screen adaptations of Austen’s 1815 novel, with the most memorable adaptations being 1995’s Clueless starring Alicia Silverstone and 1996’s classic take starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
Emma tells the story of Emma Woodhouse (Taylor-Joy), a young woman whose intentions are pure as she tried to find suitable romantic partners for her friends and loved ones. More often than not, Emma’s own idealized takes on love cloud her judgment, leading more often to miscommunication, disasters, and hilarity ensures than true happy endings. This latest version of Emma is directed by Autumn de Wilde. In addition to Taylor Joy, the Emma cast includes Mia Goth as Emma’s BFF Harriet Smith; Johnny Flynn as Mr. Knightley, a family friend of the Woodhouse’s who is as much a moral compass for Emma as he is a potential love interest; Billy Nighy plays Emma’s dad, Mr. Woodhouse; Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones) will play Mrs. Weston; Josh O’Connor (The Crown) will portray oddball clergyman Mr. Elton; and Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) will play the rakish Frank Churchill who get entangled in a dicey love triangle with Emma.
This looks like a really fun update to Emma. It retains the period setting, but judging by the tone of the trailer, they’re going for something upbeat and vivacious without being anachronistic. That’s a tricky balance, but I like how colorful and fun this looks, and I’m eager to see the finished film when it arrives early next year.
Check out the trailer below. Emma arrives in theaters on February 21, 2020.
Here’s the official synopsis for Emma:
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of EMMA. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.