Dakota Johnson in the trailer for Netflix’s Persuasion

Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliott

Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliott
Image: Nick Wall/Netflix

With the arrival of Netflix’s trailer for its adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Dakota Johnson proves she was always meant to lead a period piece, as she effortlessly melds into the romantic world.

Johnson leads Persuasion as Anne Elliot, who finds herself caught between the demands of her family when it comes to marriage, and her own romantic sensibilities. As a young adult, she fell into a passionate romance with Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis), but was persuaded by her family to let him go due to his rank in society. Years later, the two cross paths once more.

“Now we’re worse than exes, we’re friends,” Johnson says as Elliot.

From there, she has to decide if she’s to rekindle her romance with Wentworth, or pursue a relationship with the dashing (and rich) Mr. Eliot, played by Henry Golding.

The trailer strikes as interesting tone, as Johnson’s Elliot addresses the viewer directly, breaking the fourth wall with quips and quick glances (a move no doubt influenced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag). The trailer alone leans into a more chipper and comedic pace, despite the maturity and pensiveness the original novel is often revered for. Persuasion marked the final novel penned by Austen, and was published six months after her death in 1817.

The film also stars Richard E. Grant, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Ben Bailey-Smith, Yolanda Kettle, Nia Towle, and Izuka Hoyle. Carrie Cracknell—known for her work as a director on the stage—makes her directorial feature debut with Persuasion.

Persuasion was so fun. Doing a Jane Austen film is the dream, and there are only a few of them so I feel incredibly lucky,” Johnson told Vogue back in December. “The cast is amazing and our director, Carrie Cracknell, is fantastic. I think they’re still in the edit, but I’m so curious to see how it turns out.”

Persuasion arrives on Netflix on July 15.

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