Whenever I hear there is a new romance period piece centering classic or historical novels, I typically shrug at the idea of it being done over and over again by the same white actors. Although I do love Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy, as well as Tom McFadden’s version of him, there have been 18 adaptations of the Jane Austen classic — only two of which centers around people of color (Bride & Prejudice, Fire Island).
But, it seems like Hollywood is taking note of these period dramas and finally adding some color to them. Take, for instance, Netflix’s Bridgerton and Channel 5’s Anne Boleyn (starring Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne). Now, there’s a new romantic dramedy set in the early 19th century — Mr. Malcolm’s List.
Based on the novel by Suzanne Allain and directed by Emma Holly Jones, Mr. Malcolm’s List centers Freida Pinto as Selina Dalton, a young woman in England who helps her friend (Zawe Ashton) get revenge on a Mr. Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù), a suiter who rejected her for failing a requirement on his life of qualifications for a wife.
Several people may recognize the title, including Dìrísù and Pinto in the lead roles. Refinery29 released a short trailer of the film three years ago, directed by Jones. The short also included Gemma Chan in Ashton’s role as Ms. Julia Thistlewaite. Of course, as the film was picked up and went through multiple casting changes, but has finally found its home with Bleecker Street. The film’s trailer is oozing with charm and it’s about time we see two leads of color fall in love.
Mr. Malcolm’s List is set to release on July 1.