It is a truth universally acknowledged that for as long as there are folks who love the story of Lizzie Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, there will be a market for adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. Whether it’s a Hallmark movie loosely based on the beloved story or a big screen adventure (with or without zombies), people love Pride and Prejudice. The tale is getting another adaptation, and this one brings an exciting twist. Lifetime is adapting Pride and Prejudice in a modern setting, and that’s not all.
Not only will the new TV movie be set in a modern time period, but it will also feature an all-black cast playing the beloved characters. Called Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta, the project will deliver a version of the story so many know and love with twists that guarantee it won’t be just more of the same.
Tiffany Hines, known for projects like Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Bones, and Hit the Floor, will play Lizzie Bennet, with Juan Antonio of Empire playing Will Darcy. Let me just say that I’m relieved Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta updated Darcy’s name from “Fitzwilliam” to “Will!” No details about their courtship have released just yet, but some light has been shed on changes to other characters.
The Mr. Bennet of the Pride and Prejudice novel is a father who really only shows affection for Lizzie out of his five daughters, and he’s rather detached from most of the events of the book. For Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta, Mr. Bennet is Reverend Bennet, a Southern Baptists pastor to be played by Reginald VelJohnson, who is arguably best known for his role as Carl Winslow on Family Matters.
The Mrs. Bennet of the novel who is obsessed with finding husbands for her daughters will be the author of a self-help book on Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta. Given that the self-help book is about finding the perfect husband, it’s probably safe to say that Mrs. Bennet’s preoccupation with getting her daughters hitched will be part of the Lifetime movie. She’ll be played by Jackée Harry of Sister, Sister fame.
The rest of the cast has been filled out as well, including Lizzie’s four sisters. Raney Branch is Jane, Brittney Level is Mary, Reginae Carter is Lydia, and Alexia Bailey is Kitty. Caroline Bingley has been cast (with Keshia Knight Pulliam to bring her to life), although interestingly, her brother Charles and usually Jane’s suitor is not yet listed in the report from EW. Will Charles be absent and replaced by somebody else in Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta?
Kellee Stewart will play Charlotte, and Victoria Rowell will play Catherine. No description for Catherine has hit the web just yet, but if Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta‘s Catherine is anything like Jane Austen’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh, she probably won’t take too kindly to Lizzie, especially once she notes Will’s interest in her.
The only bad news is that we don’t have an exact premiere date for Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta just yet. The TV movie will premiere on Lifetime at some point in 2019. For some viewing options between now and then, swing by our fall TV premiere guide.