Watch: ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Lily James in New BBC 'War and Peace' Adaptation

Lily James (and her amazing outfits) star in the BBC's new "War and Peace". (Photo: BBC)
Lily James (and her amazing outfits) star in the BBC's new "War and Peace". (Photo: BBC)

If you’re a fan of especially elaborate period dramas – or possibly just had to take a lot of English classes in college – you’re going to be pretty excited about this news.

The BBC is set to release a new adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace, and the event series is being described as “one of the most ambitious” ever produced for the corporation. 

Downton Abbey alum Lily James stars as Natasha Rostova, alongside Paul Dano as the socially awkward but noble Pierre Bezukhov. The two are joined by an all-star ensemble cast that includes James Norton, Gillian Anderson, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rhea, Aneurin Barnard, Tuppence Middleton, Rebecca Front and more.

The BBC is breaking down Tolstoy’s massive novel – which ran to over 1,200 pages in its first printing – into six episodes, written by Andrew Davies (who also penned House of Cards and Mr. Selfridge among many, many other things).

War and Peace takes place in Russia in 1805 and tells the story of five aristocratic families, set against the backdrop of the reign of Alexander I, the lingering effects of his grandmother Catherine The Great’s rule and the events surrounding Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. So, there’s a lot to cover.

The first trailer from the drama is now here, and it’s jam-packed with gorgeous people, beautiful clothes, sweeping scenic vistas, epic battle sequences and lots more.

Watch for yourselves below:

Personally, I’m not the world’s biggest Tolstoy fan (in fact, even though I have multiple English degrees I don’t know that I ever even *finished* War and Peace), but I’m definitely into this trailer. I live for this sort of melodramatic, overly atmospheric drama. (So much slow-mo!) Plus, this could be epically terrible and I’m not sure that I still wouldn’t’ watch it for James’ clothes alone. Wow.

War and Peace will air on BBC One in the U.K. and simultaneously on Lifetime, A&E, and the History Channel in the U.S. The series is slated to air later in 2015, but no official date has been set yet.

Thoughts? Does this new War and Peace look like a must-see or a snoozefest? Hit the comments.