EXCLUSIVE: Jane Austen’s novels have been adapted by Hollywood plenty. Amazon Studios and Di Novi Pictures have acquired for feature the Rachel Givney breakout novel, Jane in Love, that will make her a screen heroine. Denise Di Novi and Margaret French Isaac are producing. Elissa Down (Feel the Beat and The Black Balloon) is attached to direct.
A respected TV series writer back her native Australia, Givney will adapt her own novel for the screen. The novel follows Jane Austen as she strikes a Faustian bargain to find love, and ends up time traveling from 1803 to the present day. When the world-famous writer falls in love with a modern-day man, all her books begin disappearing, forcing her to decide between staying in the 21st century – where she’s found love, but has lost the ability to write, or returning to her own time – where she’ll write her books and become “Jane Austen”. Austen herself famously never married or had children, despite writing six novels about love. The book also delights in showing Jane Austen navigating the strange dating rituals of the 21st century.
HarperCollins just ordered a second print run to keep up with demand after the book received strong reviews.
French Isaac says, “Denise and I are thrilled to be working with Rachel, Elissa, and our friends at Amazon to develop Rachel’s entertaining and insightful novel into a movie. Di Novi Pictures is known for strong female empowerment movies and Rachel has given us just that, a wonderful story centered around one of the greatest female writers of all time, that explores themes about a woman’s place that are as relevant today as when Jane Austen wrote her first novel.”
Said Givney: ‘DiNovi Pictures have a brilliant, woman-led vision and Amazon Studios are making such unique and intelligent content. I couldn’t think of better people to bring this story of female empowerment to the screen.’
Down, who’ll direct, said: “When Margaret gave me Rachel’s book I read it in one sitting. I knew her clever re-imagining of Jane Austen would make a fantastic movie. I’m thrilled about bringing Jane Austen to the present day and imagining her perspective on modern love.”
Di Novi Pictures wrapped production during the pandemic of The Sky is Everywhere, directed by Josephine Decker for A24 and Apple, with Cherry Jones, Jason Segel, and Grace Kaufman starring. DiNovi Pictures produced the Greta Gerwig-directed adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
Rachel Givney is represented by Jerry Kalajian at Intellectual Property Group and Jeanne Ryckmans at Cameron’s Management; Elissa Down is repped by Verve, and DiNovi Pictures by attorney Jerry Longarzo.