Thursday, October 4, 2007

NEWS: Lily Allen debuts in Jane Austen spoof

Lily Allen debuts in Jane Austen spoof

Staff and agencies
Thursday October 4, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Glastonbury 2007: Lily Allen
Bound for the big screen ... Lily Allen at Glastonbury. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

Lily Allen is to make her mainstream acting debut in a period British romp spoofing the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice. The film, entitled Jane Austen Handheld, is scripted by Robert Farrarm and will be directed by Tristram Shapeero, who cut his teeth on the TV comedy shows Peep Show and Green Room.

The off-kilter take on the novel will star Allen as Lydia Bennett and comic and TV presenter Russell Brand as her suitor George Wickham. Stephen Fry will play the role of her father, Mr. Bennett. Elizabeth Bennett has yet to be cast.

One might say that the film business is in Allen's blood. The singer is the daughter of film producer Alison Owen who was Oscar-nominated for her work on Elizabeth and Keith Allen, whose previous credits include Shallow Grave and The Others.

Jane Austen Handheld begins shooting early next year with a slim budget of £2.5m. Pride and Prejudice was previously filmed back in 2005 and bagged an Oscar nomination for its star, Keira Knightley. It seems a safe bet that this new version will not be troubling the Academy voters.

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