Matthew Rhys to Play Mr. Darcy for BBC Series

Posted by at 1:03 pm on May 27, 2013

Matthew RhysThis year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice. To mark the occasion, the BBC  is prepping three-part serial Death Comes To Pemberley, based on the suspense novel/homage by crime writer P.D. James.

The book centers on three of Austen’s most iconic characters: Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy and George Wickham. The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys will play Darcy, Anna Maxwell Martin (who was Cassandra Austen in Becoming Jane) is Elizabeth and Matthew Goode is Wickham. The story picks up six years into Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage as they prepare for the annual ball at their magnificent Pemberley home. When Elizabeth’s wayward sister Lydia arrives, she brings a shocking halt to the proceedings. A murder investigation unfolds and a web of secrets and deceit threatens all that the Darcys hold dear. Juliette Towhidi (Calendar Girls) did the adaptation which will be directed by Daniel Percival (Crossing Lines).

Rhys said, “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who’ve institutionalized him in the past. The beauty of Pemberly is that it is an entirely new and different Darcy 6 years on.” Referring to what’s been called one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history when Firth’s Darcy went for a swim in Pride And Prejudice, Rhys added, “And also, I don’t have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches.”

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