the netherfield girls

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that modern-day adaptations of Jane Austen novels are generally pretty decent. There are all-time classics like Clueless, based on Austen’s Emma, and Bridget Jones’ Diary, inspired by Pride and Prejudice, and…a million other contemporary twists on Pride and Prejudice. Now Netflix is giving its own spin on Austen’s most famous novel, with The Netherfield Girls, a contemporary romantic comedy that will star Never Have I Ever breakout star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.

Variety reports that Maitreyi Ramakrishnan has been cast as the lead in The Netherfield Girls, a “romantic comedy with a literary pedigree.” The 19-year-old Ramakrishnan, in her first feature film role, will play Lizzie Bennet, the protagonist of Austen’s classic novel who gradually falls for the man she swears is her mortal enemy.

The Netherfield Girls is described as a “fresh and funny contemporary” adaptation Pride and Prejudice in the vein of Easy A and 10 Things I Hate About You (neither based on Austen books, though both are modern-day takes on literary classics – The Scarlet Letter and The Taming of the Shrew, respectively). Becca Gleason is directing the movie from an original script she also wrote. Temple Hill Entertainment is producing the film, which was sold to Netflix.

Netflix announced the movie with Ramakrishnan’s casting in the tweet below.

Ramakrishnan was a scene-stealing delight in Never Have I Ever, one of the best teen comedy shows in recent memory. Ramakrishnan gave a funny and moving Independent Spirit Award-nominated performance as the protagonist Devi, who was loosely based on creator Mindy Kaling and her childhood growing up in a Massachusetts suburb. She was able to deliver Kaling’s zippy dialogue as well as offer a vulnerability to the part of a grieving teenager, despite being plucked out of obscurity as part of an open casting call that tested 15,000 candidates.

So she is perfectly suited to play a famously plucky protagonist like Elizabeth Bennet in Netflix’s contemporary adaptation. With Ramakrishnan’s casting, of course, The Netherfield Girls seems like it could be an Indian-led adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which has actually happened before with the surprisingly fun Bollywood-tinged Bride and Prejudice. However, it’s likely that The Netherfield Girls will be set in the States versus Bride and Prejudice‘s Indian setting.

As for Gleason, I’m not as familiar with her work, but she made her feature directorial debut with Summer ’03, a comedic drama starring Joey King which premiered at SXSW in 2018. Recently, she was a consulting producer on the upcoming Amazon series The Summer I Turned Pretty.

A release date has not yet been announced for the film.

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