I’ve just been reading this article on the casting choice of Heathcliff for Andrea Arnold’s new adaptation of Wuthering Heights and I was really interested about people’s thoughts regarding James Howson as Bronte’s (anti?) hero.
Casting a mixed race actor in the role has never been done before, and this article seems to imply that this was Bronte’s original intention for the character of Heathcliff. Highlighting Bronte’s description of him as “dark-skinned gypsy” and a “lascar”, it could indeed be argued that the previous adaptations with Heathcliff played by actors like Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hardy and Laurence Olivier fail to fully portray what Bronte intended… However.. I’m not sure that I agree with this. Essentially what is important is the acting and the portrayal of the role (and as I’m a stickler, how close the adaptation sticks to the original plot!!) I think the casting is an interesting choice and it highlights a racial dimension to the story which has perhaps been underplayed in other versions (although I don’t think this is necessarily all that overt in the actual text).
Interested to hear what other’s think. Definitely looking forward to watching this verson. Kaya Scodelario is cast as Cathy and I think she will be great! Trailer here for those who are interested : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoOuB9PAVug&feature=player_embedded Still not sure what my favourite version has been so far (and there have been so many!! over the last few years) – but there is always some room for more Bronte. (Although I would love love love an adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Villette or Shirley instead of remaking the same novels.)
A re-read will definitely be in order before watching this! Also going to see We Are Three Sisters next month – a Chekhov inspired play about the life of the Bronte Sisters.. Can’t wait!! http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011/sep/14/we-are-three-sisters-review