Famine, terrorism, natural disasters and the US getting a teensy bit more of Pride & Prejudice than us. These are just some of the things that have been keeping the British cinema-going public awake at night.
Five hundred people had scribbled on a petition to ensure the US extended ending to director Joe Wright’s Austen adaptation was released on DVD in the UK but the producers are actually going to go one better.
This Friday the extended version will be released into selected theatres across the UK and Ireland. “We are absolutely delighted in the continued interest in Pride & Prejudice,” says producer Paul Webster. “We are excited about the opportunity to show the US ending to the British public.”
We aren’t about to ruin the new ending for you but by way of warning for Austen purists: Matthew MacFadyen, who plays Mr Darcy, told USA Today that the ending was considered too “sugary” by UK test audiences, so was dropped before release. The Americans, however, lapped it right up.
MacFadyen’s co-star Donald Sutherland claimed the US needed a “sweeter film” but not everyone likes the additional scene (which doesn’t feature in Austen’s book). Former Austen Society president Elsa Solender says the US ending “has nothing at all of Jane Austen in it, is inconsistent with the first two-thirds of the film and insults the audience with its banality.” Ouch! And you thought comic fanboys were touchy…