Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Grand Sophy Film: Latest News March 2016

I recently had a tantalizing comment on my last post about The Grand Sophy film on this blog which went like this:

Financing is being pulled together now. Film will shoot in either May or September 2016 with Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in supporting roles.

It was anonymous and so could not be directly followed up. However I took the liberty of contacting Jennifer Kloester, the author of Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller to see if she knew anything about this. She is a wonderfully knowledgeable source and she was recently speaking at the unveiling of the blue plaque on the Wimbledon birthplace of Georgette Heyer, with Stephen Fry!

Photo by Elizabeth Hawksley from
Jennifer Kloester speaking at the blue plaque ceremony

Jennifer was able to contact the agent for the Heyer estate who said:

 "They've got a great young actress called Jessie Buckley for Sophy, and Rob Ashford as director, and they're working on yet another draft of the script, but no production date has been set. The producers are talking about trying to attract A-listers for subsidiary roles, but no names have been mentioned."

Jessie Buckley as Princess Marya from War and Peace

Jessie Buckley seems a good choice for Sophie as she got rave reviews for her performance in the recent BBC version of War and Peace by Andrew Davies (Viv Groskop of The Guardian called her a marvel). I haven't seen War and Peace yet but have been advised to track down the UK version as the American version was ruthlessly edited (thanks Janeheiress).

Jessie Buckley- much prettier when not playing a pious Russian Princess!

A bit more unusual is the choice of Rob Ashford as director. He is originally a Broadway stage choreographer and now director but he has been working closely with Kenneth Branagh lately both directing in the West End and also doing choreography for the film Cinderella. I wonder if Ashford could talk Ken B into a cameo role. I would also be surprised if Stephen Fry wasn't interested in being a part of this project. Although if Colin Firth is truly involved, we may run out of older male parts (unless they leave in the horrid moneylender scene!).

If Helena Bonham Carter IS involved, I wonder if she would she make a better Marquesa or Lady Ombersley? Or how about Emma Thompson for one of those fun supporting ladies? Oh, here I am trying to help with the casting but it is really fun to imagine oneself as a casting director.

I would imagine Stephen Fry to be a wonderful Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy wouldn't you?

Now maybe I will have to try to contact the scriptwriter Olivia Hetreed to see how the project is progressing. Perhaps we should start a Twitter campaign to show the BBC et al that there is an eager audience waiting patiently for this to happen. And of course, if any of you haven't yet signed the petition for a Georgette Heyer film the link is here:

Comments below are very welcome!


Update: Petition Buzz is now defunct and so our wonderful petition for a Georgette Heyer film is gone, although it had almost 2000 names from all over the world! Keep leaving comments here and on GoodReads (or anywhere searchable) and hopefully the powers that be will hear us. Fingers crossed...


  1. Stephen Fry as Sir Horace - inspired! This has got to happen!

  2. Awesome! Would love to see this happen! Thanks for the update!

  3. Thanks for this great information, it would be absolutely fabulous if this project came through!

  4. Helena B. Carter for the Marquesa!

    But who for Charles? And Sir Vincent?


  5. Stephen Fry is far too old for Horace Stanton Lacey but I could see Helene Bonham Carter as the Marquesa!

    1. Stephen Fry is 58, why do you think that is so old for a man to be the father of a 20 year old which I believe Sophy was....

  6. Ooo, so exciting! The Grand Sophy is just about my favourite Heyer novel, and I would be thrilled to see it made into a film! Thanks for sharing the hopeful news :)

  7. Oh, they've GOT to leave in the moneylender scene! It's crucial! He doesn't have to be - in fact had better not be - such an offensive stereotype, after all.

  8. Do hope this comes to be. I will now have to read this book which is sitting on my kindle.

  9. I am so excited I could scream! This was always the one I thought would translate best for the screen and fingers crossed others will follow. I always thought Romola Garai would be a brilliant Sophy - but I will now go and put on my thinking cap for Charles...

  10. Thanks for the update Jenny. Love your casting choices. Perhaps Matthew Goode for Charles? Can't wait!!!

  11. I want JJ Feild as Charles! His role in Austenland gets a bit of Charles' coldness. Also, I like to look at his face ;P

  12. Ok! Please... Tell me this is not just an Internet rumor!! I'd really love to watch a "The Grand Sophy" movie. Can anyone speak about the veracity of this news?

  13. What about Benedict Cumberbatch or Laurence Fox as Charles and Martin Freeman as Charlbury? Emily Blunt or Kiera Knightley would do justice to Sophy's mischievousness. Also, Lucy Cohu as the Marquesa and Jessica Ashworth as Eugenia.

  14. How about Armie Hammer for Charles? He would play a strong character with anger issue marvelously :). And he is still young enough for the part. Stephen Fry has Sir Horaces wit, but not his look unfortunatelly...

  15. Replies
    1. I would love to see
      Georgette Heyer novels on screen... there are so many of them that I love, that would translate nicely to film. Her characters are so well written, impeccable, fun, sarcastic, witty and very interesting. Can't wait for the Grand Sophy!

  16. Please keep updating this blog, it's been too long. Great post! We adore this blog and This information is very good.



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  18. Crucial to leave in the money-lender scene - one of my favourites, "turnip!" But his unwelcome visitor had gone... While the casting game is great fun, I am not really sure about films of books one knows and loves so well. They nearly always fall short of the ideal. The only exceptions I can think of are Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility and the first part of the Lord of the Rings. (The latter two I can't bear to watch, totally missed, if not actually reversing, fundamental points of character and motivation and far too much CGI!!




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