So I dunno. I'm not going to say that I will LOVE this thing, because I probably won't. BUT.
-If you do a search, dozens of blogs are already squeeing over this film. It's all over the net. People are going to watch this. People are going to watch James. So it might not be the main role or anything, but he's at least VISIBLE to the great audience again. Some will watch for Stephenie Meyer (sigh), others will watch for Keri Russell, some because they love the book or Colin Firth. So it's visibility, and all visibility is good for his career.
-James' role is Colonel Andrews, according to this link, which is Shannon Hale's personal blog, so we can be pretty sure it's accurate. There's a preview of Austenland here, and browsing through it, I found Colonel Andrews on page 27 and on. There are fairly many scenes with him; he's an OLD-TIMEY BRITISH GENTLEMAN, just like I hoped. Swooon!!!! I want to see this! James is so good for the part of a gentleman, because well, even off character, he is. He may be down-to-earth and a bit clumsy and awkward sometimes, but always polite, and in some way very British. So it at least sounds like a fitting role and one I can enjoy watching.
-Colonel Andrews is described as "fair-haired, with a decent set of shoulders and a very ready smile". Fair-haired?! I wonder if they've given up on that or if James will dye his hair. Also, he is said to emit a "whiff of tobacco", which is fitting too. So maybe we get to see him smoke again!
That's about it. I must admit I couldn't read the book; I can't focus on this kind of fiction. I fear I sound like a snob now, I do enjoy entertainment, just not of the chick lit kind. However, I have no idea how much bearing the book will have on the actual film; Bridget Jones's Diary, while entertaining enough, was a terrible adaptation that took away the best scenes and shrunk the best characters into the margin. So reading the book might actually not warm me to the film at all. Maybe it's best to just know what part James will play and look forward to gentlemanly charm. I do find Keri Russell charming and a good actor, so that's also a plus.
I guess you could say I don't have "great expectations" for this film. Heh heh. Wait, no, that's Dickens. I'm approaching this film with too much "pride and prejudice". See? That works! I am clever! I should totally write a chick lit novel about a girl who obsesses over James Callis.