Persuasion — cast, trailer, plot, first looks and all about Netflix's Jane Austen adaptation

Persuasion stars Dakota Johnson and Richard E Grant as Anne Elliot and Sir Walter (the central pair) in the Netflix period drama.
Persuasion stars Dakota Johnson and Richard E Grant as Anne Elliot and Sir Walter (the central pair) in the Netflix period drama. (Image credit: Netflix/Nick Wall)

Persuasion probably isn’t the most well-known of Jane Austen’s famous novels — I’m sure most of us would give that accolade to Pride and Prejudice — but it was the famous British author’s last fully completed story, and it’s had a fair few film and TV adaptations made over the years. 

Now it’s the turn of Netflix to create a stunning period drama out of Miss Austen’s last literary work, and after the recent success of Bridgerton, also set in the Regency era, who’d bet against the streaming giant having another big hit on their hands? They certainly have some big hitters in terms of the cast in this film, with Dakota Johnson taking on the role of Anne Elliot, and Henry Golding playing Mr Elliot among them and Richard E Grant playing Anne's father Sir Walter Elliot.

So here’s everything you need to know about this adaptation of Persuasion on Netflix…

Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot with her family in Persuasion.

Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot (on left) with her family in JAne Austen's Persuasion. (Image credit: Netflix/Nick Wall)

Persuasion on Netflix release date

Persuasion will be released worldwide on Netflix on July 15 2022, having been shown in cinemas the week before, from July 8 2022. So get ready for some great period drama action this summer.

The poster for Netflix's Persuasion

Netflix's Persuasion arrives on July 15. (Image credit: Netflix)

Is there a Persuasion trailer from Netflix?

Yes, the Persuasion railer has now been released by Netflix and it's divided opinion. More Fleabag than Austen most people say. But take a look below and decide for yourself...

What's the plot of Persuasion?

In Persuasion, Anne Elliot is an unmarried 27-year-old woman in the early 19th century who seemingly has slim romantic prospects — remember, you were likely on the shelf and heading for spinsterhood back then if you didn’t have a ring on your finger by 21. Her snobby family, who were on the brink of bankruptcy, really didn’t understand her. Then Captain Frederick Wentworth, the naval officer Anne turned down eight years previously, returns to town. She’s still single and he’s so very dashing, so could love blossom again?

Persuasion on Netflix.

Anne Elliot is the central character in Persuasion on Netflix. (Image credit: Netflix)

Dashing Captain Frederick Wentworth can certainly get passions going in Anne..

Divinely dashing Captain Frederick Wentworth certainly gets passions stirring in Anne. (Image credit: Netflix)

Persuasion on Netflix cast — Dakota Johnson on playing Anne Elliot

On starring in Persuasion, Dakota Johnson says: "Women couldn’t choose who they wanted to be with for love in that era. They had to choose for status, money and security. But women in Austen’s novels had more of a mind than they were allowed to have, choosing their own path, and choosing love over finance and status.

"This version is so timely. It’s so cool that you can take something written in the early 1800s and it matches up to what’s occurring in the world now."

Dakota is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith and first took a role in the 1999 film Crazy In Alabama. She went on to star in the Fifty Shades films and the romantic comedy How To Be Single. In 2019 she starred in the emotional Netflix film The Peanut Butter Falcon.

Persuasion star Dakota Johnson.

Dakota Johnson contemplates romance for her Persuasion character Anne Elliot. (Image credit: Netflix)

Persuasion cast — Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Frederick Wentworth

Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Frederick Wentworth.

Persuasion love interest...Cosmo Jarvis plays Captain Frederick Wentworth. (Image credit: Netflix)

Dashing naval captain Frederick Wentworth, the one-time suitor of Anne Elliot who returns to town, is played by Cosmo Jarvis. Best known for the movie Lady Macbeth, this British star also starred in Spooks: The Greater Good in 2015.

Facing up to each other in Persuasion.

Wentworth and Elliot facing up to each other in Persuasion. (Image credit: Netflix)

Persuasion cast — Henry Golding as Mr Elliot

Mr. Elliot is Anne’s cousin, a ruthless and callous man, so a classic Jane Austen villain. 

“For me, the role of Mr. Elliot was just too juicy to say no to — he’s such a naughty, mischievous spanner in the works,“ says Henry Golding. “Knowing that you don’t end up with the girl, you can really let loose with it all. He’s such a great character, as you have no idea what he’s thinking or what his motivation is — he just turns on a dime. I was reveling in it.”

Henry Golding is most famous for starring in the hit comedy movies Crazy Rich Asians and A Simple Favor.

In Persuasion, Henry Golding will really be going against type to play Mr Elliot..

In 'Persuasion', Henry Golding will really be going against type to play Mr Elliot.. (Image credit: Netflix)

Who else is starring in Persuasion on Netflix?

Also starring in this Netflix movie Persuasion is Richard E. Grant who plays Anne's father Sir Walter Elliot. Richard reveals: “Sir Walter Elliot is arguably the vainest character in all of literature, so we took that to the hilt and beyond,” says Grant. “It was a huge pleasure playing someone who is so entitled, egocentric, and unaware of anyone else’s feelings.”

Other cast include Nikki Amuka-Bird as Lady Russell, Stewart Scudamore (Risen, Die Another Day) as Admiral Croft, plus Ben Bailey-Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Izuka Hoyle, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Edward Bluemel and Nia Towle.

Nikki Amuka-Bird as Lady Russell with Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot in Persuasion.

Nikki Amuka-Bird as Lady Russell with Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot in Persuasion. (Image credit: Netflix/Nick Wall)

The Elliot family in Persuasion, including Richard E Grant as Sir Walter.

The Elliot family in Persuasion, including Richard E Grant as Sir Walter. (Image credit: Netflix/Nick Wall)

Locations and what else we know about Persuasion on Netflix

British theater director Carrie Cracknell takes charge of this film, her directorial debut in movies, and the writers adapting Persuasion are Ron Bass and Alice Winslow. Filming of Persuasion began in the UK in May 2021 with quite a few scenes happening over the summer at the famous Royal Crescent in Bath, famously used in 1968 film Oliver! for the Who Will Buy? sequence. 

Director Carrie Cracknell opted to break conventional period-drama rules when it came to casting, costumes and dialogue, hoping the film will resonate with a new generation. 

"We wanted to honor the tropes and traditions of Jane Austen while making the characters more diverse, current and emotionally available, where viewers could really see themselves in them. I was excited about the idea of connecting with a broad audience who have grown up with a real love of Jane Austen, but haven’t always felt it was something they could access."

The cast also features Nikki Amuka-Bird as Anne’s interfering godmother, Lady Russell, plus Izuka Hoyle as Frederick’s love interest Henrietta Musgrove, and Mia McKenna-Bruce as Anne’s attention-seeking sister, Mary. Viewers can also expect an exclusive glimpse of Anne’s wit and inner turmoil as she breaks the fourth wall with Fleabag-esque snarky asides and eye rolls.

"We wanted a version of Anne who’s incredibly contemporary, strident and funny,’ says Cracknell. "She’s someone who messes up and gets herself into awkward situations. Dakota is perfect as Anne.’ she adds. ‘She brings a sense of immediacy and humour, and a sort of anarchic quality to the role, which makes her feel really alive on the screen."

Other famous movies and TV adaptations of Persuasion

Persuasion in 2007 — the ITV drama with Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones.

Persuasion in 2007 — the ITV drama with Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones. (Image credit: CLERKENWELL FILMS FOR ITV)

Like most Jane Austen classics, Persuasion has had plenty of adaptations over the years, including a 2007 made-for-TV movie starring Sally Hawkins, Anthony Head, Alice Krige and Spooks' Rupert Penry-Jones. Meanwhile, a 1995 version for the BBC saw Amanda Root play Anne, alongside Killing Eve’s FIona Shaw, Simon Russell Beale, Samuel West and Ciaran Hinds. Going back even further there was a five-part mini-series of Persuasion in 1971, starring Ann Firbank as Anne and Bryan Marshall as Captain Wentworth.

A brief history of Persuasion author Jane Austen

Persuasion author Jane Austen died in 1817.

Persuasion author Jane Austen died in 1817. (Image credit: Getty)

Persuasion was the last novel written by Jane Austen, prior to her death in 1817 and was published posthumously later that year, along with Northanger Abbey. She’d written a number of literary classics such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma which really led the way to the modern novel as we know it in terms of pacing and plotting. She was born in Hampshire in 1775 and died in Winchester in 1817 aged just 41. It’s now believed the cause of her premature death was Addison’s disease.

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.