Watch: ‘Wuthering Heights’ Returns To The Big Screen With Some Major Changes

Who Is Heathcliff?
Another Literary Classic Reimagined

We’ve all heard plenty about the Anna Karenina adaptation, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. But another major adaptation is coming our way and I am extremely interested in this new film. Wuthering Heights brings us another adaptation (there have been many) of the classic novel by Emily Brontë and the Oscar-winning director (Andrea Arnold, who directed Fish Tank) has made some fascinating decisions with the story. Peep the beautiful first trailer above; the casting choice for Heathcliff will surely make waves.

Vulture also has an exclusive new trailer with a bit more dialogue– checkie out here.

Wuthering Heights premiered during the Toronto Film Festival in 2011 (thanks Nicole!) but will be released in New York on October 5.

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  1. Lulu

    Oh my gosh! It’s Kaya! I’ve missed seeing her since skins. yay, Ill definitely be checking this out.

  2. Lo

    I’m curious why you say Heathcliff’s casting would make waves? In the book he is found on the streets of London, alluding to gypsies, and he is often described as dark. It’s nice to see casting to reflect that! (If it is his ethnicity that you are referring to.)

    • Nicole

      I don’t think Shannon is off the mark in suggesting that casting black actors in the Heathcliff roles might be considered controversial. That was certainly the case with some of the choices for the first Hunger Game film. You’d hope that people who’ve read WH would be more critical thinkers but a lot of those people probably view it as simply a love story.

      Slight correction to the post: this adaptation actually screened at TIFF in 2011 which is when I saw it and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was very sparse and visceral which seemed a lot truer to the intent of the novel.

    • Nicole, thanks for weighing in here. I thought of the Hunger Games as well and the interesting thing is that those characters in the book were clearly (IMO) black, and people were still furious! This is because, as I wrote to Lo, people are attached to a work of literature and to the way THEY experienced it. So when that experience is tampered with (and, sadly, when race is involved) the reactions can be more powerful.

      People (including myself) were recently in an uproar over Zoe Saldana (a woman of color) playing Nina Simone (a darker woman of color) and much of it had to do with race or ethnicity and skin color. Now I don’t think such a reaction will be had to this adaptation but I think it’s certainly a noteworthy casting choice– one about which I’m very excited!

      I’ll note that the film screened in 2011, thank you Nicole :)

    • Lo, I am referring to his ethnicity and I’m completely excited about the fact that a young man who is black and British was cast as Heathcliff. I don’t think the casting choice will cause controversy, but I do think it will be an issue that is brought up– hopefully in a positive light, but that may not always be the case. We always see this when a work of literature is adapted– many people do not want to see changes in the movie or they do not want to see things as they HAD NOT imagined them to be. But as I said in the post, I’m excited about this piece. And I’m interested in seeing what kind of dialogue it bring about. Thanks for commenting, Lo.

    • Lo

      I see where you are coming from and I think the comparison to Rue in the Hunger Games is a good one. Well, if people are outraged at this casting, English profs of the world will surely set things straight!

    • Ella

      Nicole I was totally thinking of the uproar over the casting of Rue. Apparently unless the book says black, the character should be white. People said her death wasn’t as sad because she wasn’t what they expected or wanted her to be. Now I thinking the Wuthering Heights crowd is a tad more sophisticated than the Hunger Games crowd.
      Also, did anyone notice the older Catherine played Effie from Skins?

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