Unless you’re living under a rock, you know there’s yet another Emma coming — this time to the big screen! It seemed like a good time to do a run down and appreciation of the various versions of Mr. Knightley, that somewhat older neighbor who seems like an older brother until suddenly you realize his hotness … or so Jane Austen wrote it.
Note: there were various TV versions of Emma from 1948 through 1960, for which I can’t find any pictures! Their Mr. Knightley’s were: Ralph Michael (1948), Peter Cookson (1954), Tom Helmore (1957), and Paul Daneman (1960).
And now, for some visuals!
Emma (1972): John Carson as Mr. Knightley
I haven’t seen this version, but I have to say, I’m unimpressed. Okay, it’s the ’70s, but I feel like they REALLY went for the age difference here.
Emma (1996): Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley
I love so many things about this version, but I don’t love the wig they put usually-hot Mark Strong into for this role. He just looks like he has a combover! I know, it’s hard to embrace a balding/bald Mr. Knightley, but next time, do better, wig department.
Emma (1996): Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley
ALL. THE. HOTNESS. IN. ONE. SMOLDERING. PACKAGE.
Emma (2009): Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley
I really enjoyed this version, which I wasn’t at all prepared to do! I thought Johnny Lee Miller was quite good, although he’s no Jeremy Northam for me.
Emma (2020): Johnny Flynn as Mr. Knightley
Alrighty kids, I’m not too sure how I feel about this! The problem is Johnny Flynn played the bounder who left Eponine in the recent Les Misérables, so it’s hard for me to see him as noble Mr. Knightley … but then he was the lovesick William Dobbin in Vanity Fair, so, maybe it’s a wash? What do you think?
Who is YOUR Mr. Knightley? Does Johnny Flynn stand a chance?