Creator's Favorite: Emma and Mr. Knightley were among Jane Austen's favourite fictional creations. Mr. Knightley was "very far from being what [Jane Austen] knew English gentlemen often were", and when she was sending a copy of the book to a friend whose daughter had been lately born, she wrote: "I trust you will be as glad to see my Emma as I shall be to see your Jemima." And when she was commencing that work, she said, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like".
Referenced by...: In The Collector, Miranda asks her captor to get her Jane Austen's Emma. She compares herself to its imperfect and slightly manipulative heroine, and then she likens her captor Frederick to Mr Elton, her fling from university to Frank Churchill, and asks herself if her older teacher is Mr Knightley.
The 1972 Miniseries
Dawson Casting: Humorously, not for Emma herself (though Godwin does appear more mature than her 22 years), but John Carson was 45, eight years older than Mr. Knightley's 37 (and it shows).
My decision-making was wrong. It's the only time I've done that. And I learnt from it, you know. So I'm glad of that - because it was early on and I learnt my lesson. It's a good film, but I'm just... not very good in it. I'm not helped because I'm also wearing the world's worst wig. It's quite a laugh, checking that wig out.
Real-Life Relative: Mrs. Bates and Miss Bates, mother and daughter in the film, are played by real-life mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Sophie Thompson. This was a coincidence, as the casting director had their names on separate lists.
Douglas McGrath had initially wanted to write a modern version of the novel, set on the Upper East Side of New York City. Harvey Weinstein liked the idea of a contemporary take on the novel. McGrath was unaware that Clueless was already in production, until plans for Emma were well underway.
Dueling Works: A rare case of dueling works based on the exact same work. This telefilm was being filmed at the same time that the McGrath/Paltrow/Northam film was in theaters, and came out in the same year in the UK. Also something of a meta-situation, since six Jane Austen films came out from 1995-1996.
The 2009 Miniseries
Dawson Casting: Romola Garai was 26, five years older than Emma's 21 (and a decade older than Emma at 16, in the prologue of the film).