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Mendes to direct Middlemarch

SamMendes.jpgSam Mendes is set to create a film version of George Eliot's novel Middlemarch. Although it has already been seen as a BBC mini-series, it hasn't yet made it to the big screen, and Mendes looks set to be the first.

Middlemarch is another corset busting, stretched britches victorian drama, so it marks quite a departure for Mendes.

Mendes seems happy at the move and he says that it is very much a coming home move for him. His words come from Variety through the BBC.

"My films so far have been about exploring these extraordinary other worlds, but now I'm moving into a phase when I'm coming home and able to direct work that's closer to me,"

What do you think he can make of the well worn victorian drama? Can he bring something new to it? Do you really want to see this type of film? I find all that repressed sexuality to drag out misunderstandings and relationship issues maddening.



I am sure he is definitely capable. Then maybe next time tackle a Henry James too Sam!

Personally I think I'd rather see this sort of story on screen than read it, to be honest. I'm just a little surprised to find there hasn't been a big-screen version of the story before (and, according to IMDB, about half the George Eliot adaptations made were produced during the silent era), although the length of the text is probably a deterrent and I think that, since the mid-90s at least, we've seen that the big screen is no longer really the most suitable venue for adaptations of big Victorian novels like this. You need the space that television gives to stretch out and do the book properly (the 1968 miniseries went five hours, the 1994 one went six). Mendes will probably need to make this film of his at least 2½ hours, maybe even three, and I can't see the studios being thrilled by the prospect of something so long.


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