Andrea Arnold on Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a tired tale which has seen more action than any of the other characters have. It's been adapted a number of times for film and screen and been through a number of actors, now though that could well be changing.
A new version has been planned for some time, and it's path to development has been littered with different names. Today though it would seem that Andrea Arnold, the director of Red Road and Fish Tank, has signed up for the latest adaptation.
The news I'm hoping for, which hasn't arrived as yet, is that Andrea Arnold will be modernising the story, not leaving it set in the period place with all Emily Brontë's original dialogue, and creating something modern and exciting from it all.
Olivia Hetreed already has the screenplay ready though, and I suspect that it may not be that modern. Brontë's original story is a doomed romantic story of two characters who fall in love and...you know the story. Doomed romance with moody looks and held back passion in tight corsets and “your britches Mr Darcy!”.
The “yank” trade Variety has the condescending comment that the “Blighty” director has signed up for the film – really, where is their written English? Apparently it's a story that she would love to direct and has always said so, as producer Robert Bernstein told them:
"Andrea has previously said that the only book she would ever direct would be Wuthering Heights because of the passionate, impossible love story at its centre and its elements of class divide...It's a very lucky coincidence for us that we've found each other."
I struggle with the idea of seeing Andrea Arnold directing this period piece, costume drama abounding, but perhaps she really does want to do it that way? I would much prefer that she set it in a modern suburb and bring the two worlds of her films and Brontë's novel together in some amazing new slant on the story.