It’s Halloween: a time for zombies, ninjas and regency era women armed with knifes?
In an exclusive first look, Entertainment Weekly has received the first image from the latest Pride and Prejudice adaptation: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. After a rearranged cast and crew (Natalie Portman and David O. Russell were originally set to star and direct respectively), filming has now started on the zombie apocalypse set romantic comedy.
Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, on which the movie is based, takes entire chunks of Austen’s work only to add in a few zombies or ninjas here and there as ungainly notes at the sides of her work, so hopefully the script has improved upon the original idea.
Lily James (best known for Downton Abbey, and star in the upcoming Cinderella film) is set to play the ever-famous Elizabeth Bennett, while Burr Steers directs, and Sam Riley (Maleficent) takes on the infamous role of Mr. Darcy. The only image released so far is of Elizabeth and her sisters preparing for an attack, but the setting and costuming look good, even if the idea sounds terrible.
Similar films, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, were both critical misfires but box office successes (a sequel is in the works for Hansel & Gretel), so while the idea sounds weak, there’s money to be made in the fantasy-reboot genre. Especially when Pride and Prejudice and its large, female audience are there to back it up.
Filming began in late September, and although the release date is yet to be announced, Screen Gems have already picked up the distribution rights.
Is a zombie apocalypse really the place to find love in the 19th century? I guess we’ll find out in 2015.