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Miramax goes to Austen’s ‘Abbey’ alongside Granada

Davies pens $6 mil pic adaptation of gothic love tale

LONDON — Miramax Films, Granada Film and London Weekend Television are co-producing “Northanger Abbey,” a $6 million feature adaptation of Jane Austen’s debut novel.

The deal reunites Miramax and Granada for the first time since they pacted for “My Left Foot,” the 1989 project that gave Daniel Day-Lewis his breakthrough acting role. Miramax will distribute the pic internationally, and Granada will retain the rights in the U.K.

Fall lensing

The adaptation was penned by Andrew Davies, whose credits include 1995’s “Circle of Friends” and, most recently, the Bafta award-winning “A Rather English Marriage” for BBC TV. No director is as yet on board. Principle lensing begins in the fall in Bath in southwest England.

Casting remains to be decided, but the lead character, 18-year-old Catherine Morland, may be played by a newcomer. The gothic love story centers on the romantic trials and tribulations of Morland’s “sexual awakening.”

Happy memories

Miramax head Harvey Weinstein said: “We had a fabulous experience working with Granada Film on ‘My Left Foot’ in the early days of Miramax. We’re pleased to be working with them again on what promises to be an enchanting project.”

Austen is familiar territory for Miramax. In 1996, the company released Austen’s “Emma,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and this fall will see the release of helmer Patricia Rozema’s adaptation of Austen’s “Mansfield Park.”