Rejoice, for BBC One’s latest adaptation of a literary classic is upon us! Take a look at the trailer above for some beautiful but tragic moments detailing young life and love in Russia during the Napoleonic era as written in War and Peace.
If you need a refresher, here are some War and Peace CliffNotes: Leo Tolstoy’s famously detailed and lengthy novel, War and Peace, is a must-read and rite of passage for many bookworms. Originally published in 1869, it’s been around the block with five screen adaptations, not to mention dozens of book translations and Russian red-colored covers.
It’s the novel that haunts hundreds of college students every year in world literature courses. It’s one of the books that many readers, young and old, claim to have conquered, but only survived the first 100 pages at best. Book nerds around the globe celebrated its 150th anniversary this past January. (Can you imagine Harry Potter 150 years from now?) Coming in at over 2,200 pages (in modern English translations), the novel is filled with complicated Russian surnames and vast historical events within every single chapter. Tolstoy himself is quoted as saying that War and Peace is “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle.” In the end, though, most eventually come to love the novel for its musings on life and death.
Interested yet? Well, don’t worry if you aren’t up to the task of reading (and completing) this iconic novel, because BBC One’s tv miniseries adaptation by British director Tom Harper, looks to be a formidable starting point for Tolstoy newcomers.
Set to be released in the UK this year, War and Peace is a 6-part miniseries that will hit the states next year on A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime. The task of condensing this elaborate novel into 6 cohesive parts for the screen seems tough, but Harper also had to collect a cast worthy enough to hold the interest of twenty-first-century viewers. (Let’s just say no one has successfully dethroned Audrey Hepburn as Natasha Rostova from the 1956 film adaptation.)
Love & Mercy star Paul Dano portrays the educated young protagonist, Pierre Bezukhov, on his hunt for moral and romantic harmony. Future zombie-hunting lady and Downton Abbey alumna Lily James portrays the spontaneous Natasha Rostova, who goes from a charming 13-year-old teenager to a 28-year-old woman touched by the war. And the always mesmerizing Gillian Anderson (Hannibal, The X-Files) is dressing up as the manipulative St. Petersburg socialite, Anna Pavlovna Scherer.
Along with this stunning cast, Harper and his team of writers and adaptor, Andrew Davies, have planned to elaborate on certain sexual themes not explored in the novel (hint: think of a certain pair of siblings from Game of Thrones), and turn up the violence during battle scenes. All of this should make for one emotionally epic binge once it hits our shores next year.
Tolstoy fans and newcomers alike, are you excited to see this new adaptation? Let us know in the comments below!
HT: Digital Spy UK
Image credits: BBC