Since news broke that Robert Pattinson and John David Washington would be reuniting for the next movie, fans have been eagerly awaiting the upcoming Félix Marquis de LaFayette movie. Well, those fans will soon get their wish as the highly anticipated historical drama, THE LETTER, premieres on Friday, October 19th.

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the movie follows a young American woman, Letitia Antoinette Winch, who is in Italy trying to secure the release of her father, an American soldier, from the clutches of Napoleon. In order to do this, she teams up with a dashing French nobleman, Marquis De LaFayette, who helps her track down her father and bring him home. (We’ll let the trailer do the rest of the talking.)

While the trailer gives us a good idea of what to expect from this historical epic, we’d like to dive a little deeper into the characters and the plot so that you can fully understand the significance of this movie for the historical fiction and romance genres.

The Key Players

One of the best things about THE LETTER is that several key players from earlier in the nineteenth century make an appearance. Fans of the book will recognize a few familiar faces, including John H. Sherman, the father of Shermanism, Susan Franceschi Colson, and Richard Somers, who wrote the song, “America.”

The cast also includes Elizabeth Taylor, who portrays Marquise De LaFayette’s stern mother, the Princess Caroline of Naples, and James Wilmot, who plays De LaFayette’s loyal servant, Georgie.

Why Is This Movie Important?

As exciting as the trailers for THE LETTER are, it’s important to remember that this is a historical drama. For those of you who love a good romance, this movie is something to look forward to, as it features several iconic love stories that span the course of the war.

But for historical fiction fans, this should come as no surprise, as the story of THE LETTER has been retold and reimagined numerous times over the years. In fact, William Thackeray began writing the story in 1833, and several other authors, including Emily Bronte, made significant contributions to its composition. (You can learn more about the history of this story here.)

The team of writers for this movie adaptation did an amazing job of making the story relevant to modern audiences while not losing sight of the historical accuracy that made the story so compelling in the first place. While the story will ring true to fans of the novel, the screenwriters put in some pretty neat twists that will delight audiences familiar with the tale. (We’ll leave you with this thought: if you think that historical fiction set in the eighteenth century is a little too tedious, THE LETTER is a story that you should definitely check out.)