Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, and Mia Goth star in music video helmer Autumn de Winter's big-screen adaptation of the beloved 1815 novel.
Jane Austen’s Emma is getting a lively update from debut feature director Autumn de Winter.
The first trailer for the literary adaptation — based on Austen’s beloved 1815 novel of the same name — features The Witch actress Anya Taylor-Joy as the iconic lead character in a social class satire brimming with comedic wit.
Also starring Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, and Callum Turner, de Wilde’s feature directorial debut follows Emma as she navigates misguided relationships and romantic missteps while searching for love and purpose. The trailer teases a wickedly comical journey that sees Emma reimagined as a sassy young woman with no time for stuffy high society theatrics, unwanted advances from men, and enthusiastic gossip from her peers.
A scene toward the end of the clip perfectly encapsulates the preview’s tone, as an energetic woman approaches Emma’s carriage with “such news!” before Taylor-Joy begrudgingly pushes the door open with a half-hearted flick of her finger, meeting her enthusiasm with a blank-faced stare.
First-time feature screenwriter Eleanor Catton penned the script, and the film was produced by Oscar nominees Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Les Misérables) alongside Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri collaborators Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin.
Taylor-Joy marks the third actress to play Austen’s beloved character on the big screen, following Judy Campbell’s portrayal in a 1948 adaptation and Gwyneth Paltrow’s role in Douglas McGrath’s Oscar-winning 1996 version. Though not a direct adaptation of Austen’s novel, Amy Heckerling’s 1995 comedy Clueless featured Alicia Silverstone as a modern Los Angeles high schooler loosely inspired by Emma.
Emma opens in limited release on Feb. 21. Watch the first trailer above.