Dakota Johnson’s New Netflix Movie ‘Persuasion’ Sparks Backlash on Social Media

Dakota Johnson stars in a new Netflix original film premiering next month, but the movie is already getting some backlash. It is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion – a lauded depiction of life, love, loss and the grueling march of time. For some fans, the trailer for the new film adaptation is just a little too chipper.


Persuasion was written in 1816 and published in 1817 – the year that Austen passed away. As many fans have pointed out, this was a very difficult time in Austen’s life, and the book reflects that. The trailer, on the other hand, gives off the tone of a romantic comedy with more levity than fans were expecting. Many felt that this was more than a bad adaptation, it was a symptom of poor literacy and of a cultural disinterest in difficult topics.

Persuasion was adapted for the screen by writers Alice Victoria Winslow and Ronald Bass, and was directed by Carrie Cracknell. In addition to Johnson it stars Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding, Richard E. Grant, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Suki Waterhouse, Ben Bailey, Izuka Hoyle, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Nia Towle, Edward Bluemel, Lydia Rose Bewley and Yolanda Kettle.

The movie is due out on Netflix on Friday, July 15, but as you’ll see below many people have already promised not to watch it. Here’s a look at the responses to Netflix’s Persuasion adaptation so far.

Correct Venue

Finally, many critics said they would have been fine with a period piece featuring all the quirks of this trailer if it had not been called Persuasion. Many felt that these experimental ideas should have been reserved for something less beloved.



Many critics had a laugh at themselves and the rest of social media for the speed and ferocity of their response. They urged each other to be thoughtful in their seriously criticism, as many want to see romance writing in general taken more.


‘A Modern Approach’

As some pointed out, Cracknell said from the beginning that this was intended to be a “modern take” on Persuasion. However, critics felt like such an approach should still have retained the tones and themes of the source material.



Many critics admitted that they still plan on watching this movie and they are hopeful that the trailer didn’t do it justice.


Writing Comparisons

Before long, users were putting quotes from the trailer side by side with passages from Austen’s novel. Many were horrified by the difference.



Several users blamed this misread of Austen’s novel on recent period pieces like Bridgerton which are intentionally not historically accurate. They felt that a work like this one should have been adapted more faithfully to keep its vital messages intact.



A viral Twitter thread by Cate Eland explained the situation Austen was in at the time Persuasion was written. It also helped shed light on why the tone shift in this adaptation left many fans of Austen and the romance genre in general feeling sleighted.




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