An adaptation of Michel Faber's excellent piece of postmodern Victoriana, The Crimson Petal and the White, was filmed last fall in London and Liverpool by Origin Pictures. With a stellar cast that includes Romola Garai as sought-after prostitute Sugar, Gillian Anderson as the evil madame Sugar longs to escape, and Chris O'Dowd as the cowardly Victorian husband who becomes Sugar's protector, this sounds like a literary adaptation that shouldn't be missed.
The producer promises that "this extraordinary, sexually-charged story which will certainly shake up the audience's perceptions of conventional period drama." Currently the four-part miniseries is scheduled to air in the UK in March—here's hoping it will appear on the Masterpiece Classic schedule sometime soon.
In the meantime, fans of Victorian sagas should pick up Petal. "Full of scheming whores, surly servants, simpering society ladies and smartly dressed gents, the book's as rollicking, bawdy and brilliant a yarn as aught that's come out of the Empire since Mrs. Brown sat upon the throne. So settle your specs upon your nose, keep a cup of tea by your knee and take up Michel Faber's tale. We promise Petal will not disappoint," wrote BookPage's Julie Hale in her 2002 interview with Faber about the book.
Are you a fan of period dramas? Will you watch (or read!) Petal?
On the day the Oscar noms roll in, featuring many films with a literary angle like The King's Speech and The Social Network, news broke of another literary adaptation: Louis Bayard's The Pale Blue Eye. We're fans of Bayard's work here at BookPage and can't wait to see what Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper (who is also adapting Hillenbrand's Unbroken for the big screen) will do with this story of Edgar Allen Poe's early years as a West Point cadet.
Bayard fans can look for our review of his next novel, The School of Night, in April.
She's just finishing up filming on One for the Money, but a New York Times profile hints that Katherine Heigl has a new literary adaptation in the works: Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Randall Wallace (Braveheart) is adapting this time-travel romance for the big screen, and a release date of 2012 is projected.
Evanovich fans (well, at least the ones who comment on our site) aren't big on the idea of Heigl as Stephanie Plum—will Gabaldon readers embrace the actress? T.Y. at the Lit Connection, who's a big Outlander saga fan, is an advocate for an unknown actress, and a brief scan of some fan sites turned up names like Kate Beckinsale and Kate Winslet. (At least Heigl's in the right first-name neighborhood.)
Any opinions on this casting?
Related in BookPage: reviews of Diana Gabaldon's books; an interview about the latest installment, An Echo in the Bone; a Q&A about Drums of Autumn and a blog post on the upcoming 8th book in the Outlander saga.