RED PLANET PICTURES ANNOUNCE CAST AS FILMING COMMENCES ON JANE AUSTEN’S SANDITON
ROSE WILLIAMS, THEO JAMES, ANNE REID AND KRIS MARSHALL STAR IN THE LAVISH DRAMA FOR ITV AND MASTERPIECE ON PBS.
We are thrilled to announce casting for Jane Austen’s final and incomplete novel, Sanditon which is being brought to a wide television audience for the very first time. As filming commences on the brand new series, in and around Bristol (UK), including The Bottle Yard Studios, Sanditon will star Rose Williams (Curfew, Changeland), Theo James (The Divergent Series, Downton Abbey), Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax, Hold the Sunset,) and Kris Marshall (Death in Paradise, Love Actually).
The sumptuous period drama, adapted by Emmy® and BAFTA-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (War & Peace, Les Misérables, Pride and Prejudice) will see Austen’s original 11-chapter fragment brought to life in an eight-part series for ITV and MASTERPIECE.
Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker (Theo James). When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success.
Rose Williams will star as Charlotte; a young woman of enormous energy who builds a reputation as an integral part of the new town. Charlotte’s self-assurance is knocked when she meets Sidney. Will Sanditon give her somewhere, and someone, to love?
Rose Williams said “I am absolutely thrilled to be playing Charlotte Heywood. This role is such a blessing. She's a brilliant character- modern, headstrong, with heart and a voice. Andrew's scripts are so beautifully written and wonderfully full of powerful female characters. I can't wait to start filming soon with the wonderful cast and creative team on Sanditon”
Theo James plays Sidney; unpredictable, roguish and restless - seemingly never settling in one place for very long. His cynicism masks a sensitive soul wounded by a broken heart that has never fully healed. In the company of Charlotte, Sidney must rediscover who he is and crucially, learn to trust again.
Anne Reid will play the deliciously direct Lady Denham. Two husbands dead and gone, Lady Denham received money from the first and a title from the second and expects to be treated with a great deal of deference. Notoriously tight-fisted, she seems to delight in the power that she wields over the town, particularly those waiting to cash in from her death.
Playing the head of the Parker family, Kris Marshall stars as Tom Parker, an enthusiastic and happily married man with a vision of putting Sanditon on the map. Full of energy and charm, Tom’s a risk-taker although his unbending belief in his venture could see his obsession land him in trouble.
Andrew Davies, creator and screenwriter said: “I’m very excited that we are bringing the world of Sanditon to the TV audience with such a brilliant ensemble cast, headed by star of the future Rose Williams as our heroine, independent and forthright Charlotte Heywood, together with Theo James (Divergent) as Sidney Parker, our Regency entrepreneur with an aura of danger. It’s been such fun to develop Jane Austen’s fragment into a series - now I’m eager to see our exceptional cast bring Sanditon to life.”
Also set to star in this lavish drama are Kate Ashfield (Secrets and Lies) as Mary Parker, Jack Fox (Johnny English Strikes Again) as Sir Edward Denham, Charlotte Spencer (The Living and the Dead) as Esther Denham, Lily Sacofsky (Bancroft) as Clara Bereton, Crystal Clarke (Ordeal by Innocence) as Miss Lambe. Elizabeth Berrington (Vanity Fair) will play Mrs Griffiths, with Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 &2,) as Mr Heywood, Turlough Convery (Les Miserables) as Arthur Parker, Mark Stanley (Game of Thrones) as Lord Babbington and Matthew Needham (The Hollow Crown) as Mr Crowe. Alexandra Roach (The Kid Who Would Be King) will play Diana Parker, with Leo Suter (Victoria) as Young Stringer, Kevin Eldon (Hot Fuzz) as Mr Hankins and Adrian Scarborough (The Madness of King George) as Dr Fuchs.