Jane Eyre (2011) - director Fukunaga & random pics of MF

Japanese/American director + German Rochester + Aussie Jane
= very interesting Brit lit!

Looks like this Bronte adaptation will indeed be multicultural!
Thanks for pointing that out Joanna!

Someone else pointed out that there are more nationalities involved!
Fukunaga is Swedish-Japanese-American
Fassbender is Irish-German
Wasikowska is Polish-Australian
[This French-Irish Canadian is lovin' this more and more!]

Italian Vogue featured some playful shots of Fassbender below...

It was Harriet Walter's birthday and photographer Bruce Webber asked Michael Fassbender to join the photoshoot since Harriet's last play was about an older woman and a younger man. [I couldn't help but notice these pics since I'm a fan of Harriet and curious about the new Rochester]

More about the director...

Cary Fukunaga

In addition to Fukunaga's Jane Eyre (which will have the meteoric new star Mia Wasikowska as the title heroine), British director Andrea Arnold is working on a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights. As Hoyle notes, both new films are being directed by filmmakers better known for their tough storytelling then their fancy flourishes. For Jane Eyre’s producer Alison Owen, this is a good thing and Cary is the perfect person to do it: “He is someone who is outside the culture, so he can shake it up, [meaning] we don’t get the chocolate-box version that everyone is familiar with.”

From Movieline interview by Kyle Buchanan:
“I’d known there was a Jane Eyre script out there for a couple of years, and it was one of my favorite movies as a kid,” Fukunaga told me, referring to the 1944 Robert Stevenson-directed version. “When [Sin Nombre] came out in the UK, I took advantage of that to meet with the BBC, and it turned out that there was no director that was attached anymore and the script happened to be amazing.”

Is he daunted by remaking one of his favorite films? Not quite, Fukunaga said. “The Orson Welles-Joan Fontaine version was of an era. You wouldn’t make a film like that anymore. I’m a stickler for raw authenticity, so I’ve spent a lot of time rereading the book and trying to feel out what Charlotte Brontë was feeling when she was writing it. That sort of spookiness that plagues the entire story…there’s been something like 24 adaptations, and it’s very rare that you see those sorts of darker sides. They treat it like it’s just a period romance, and I think it’s much more than that.”

It’s also a very different kind of story from Sin Nombre, an illegal immigrant drama that Fukunaga filmed in Mexico with unknown actors. For a young director still establishing his visual sensibility, Fukunaga admitted that he’ll be expanding his repertoire quite a bit with Eyre.

“It’s a little more thought out,” he said. “On Sin Nombre, [cinematographer] Adriano Goldman and I improvised a lot of things on-site. We were working with untrained actors, and you can’t really block a scene in a traditional way. On this film, we’re working with such pros that can work and hit their mark, so we’re coming up with some interesting ways to shoot the film. It’s all about tension and creating that sense of horror underneath.”

Among those pros is a supporting cast that includes Dame Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, and Sally Hawkins. I asked Fukunaga how it feels to work with actors who aren’t merely trained, but among the most lauded in their field.

“It’s a treat and daunting to be directing someone like Judi Dench, who’s made more films than I’ll ever make in my lifetime.” He laughed. “We don’t start rehearsals until next week, so ask me again then and I can tell you with more authority.”


  1. Fukunaga is actually Swedish-Japanese-American to be precise. ;)

  2. And Fassbender is Irish-German and Wasikowska is Polish-Australian.

  3. Anon,
    Well in THAT case, this is even more multicultural than initially thought!! The Brits are starting to get outnumbered just with those 3 alone :)

  4. Wait... SWEDISH-Japanese-American? Ooooh, shiny! :D And yes, Fassbender is only half-German. It cracked me up when watching "Inglorious Basterds", when he's the one being accused of "having a funny accent". Would've thought his German would be a lot more genuine than, oh, Brad Pitt's Italian, perhaps? ;)

  5. Traxy, I've yet to see Fassbender in any film!

  6. I am really excited about this! But even though the costumes look beyond lovely, I am still waiting to see a period accurate Jane Eyre! I know these particular hair and dress styles have become associated with Jane Eyre over time, but even though the book was published in 1847, it was actually set around 1808.

    I have a feeling I'll be waiting a while though!

    Oh, and I would absolutely love to see a movie of Villette!



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