Dakota Johnson to Star in Netflix’s Modern Adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’

Dakota Johnson has signed on to star in Persuasion, Netflix and MRC Entertainment’s modern take on the Jane Austen novel.

Theater director Carrie Cracknell, who directed Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge to Tony nominations last year in Sea Wall/ A Life on Broadway, will make her feature-helming debut with the project. Production is expected to begin in May.

Described by Netflix and MRC as a “modern, witty approach to a beloved story while still remaining true” to the novel, the logline per the companies is thus: “Living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy, Anne Elliot is an unconforming woman with modern sensibilities. When Frederick Wentworth — the dashing one she once sent away — crashes back into her life, Anne must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances.”

Ron Bass, the veteran scribe behind Rain Man and My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Alice Victoria Winslow wrote the script.

Andrew Lazar, who last produced YA movie Clouds, and Christina Weiss Lurie, who worked on Halle Berry’s upcoming directorial debut, Bruised, are producing.

Exec producing are Elizabeth Cantillon via her untitled MRC Films romance label, Michael Constable and David Fliegel.

Persuasion was the last of Austen’s novels and published in 1817, soon after her death. It has seen several screen adaptations, all in the TV sphere, as well as a handful of stage versions.

Johnson, repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment, last starred with Tracee Ellis Ross in Universal’s The High Note. She will next be seen in The Lost Daughter, a drama directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal that also stars Olivia Colman, and Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro’s Am I OK?

Cracknell is repped by UTA and the U.K.’s United Agents.

MRC is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.