The latest take on Jane Austen’s classic love story is a little, how should we say… revisionist. In Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, out next February, it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.
Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, which riffed raucously on Austen’s classic, this new Pride and Prejudice imagines Elizabeth Bennet and her corset-clad sisters as warriors of the Victorian era, searching for husbands while simultaneously fending off hordes of the undead.
“Rather than knitting and crocheting, they’re polishing muskets,” says Lily James, the Cinderella actress who plays Elizabeth, to EW, which debuted the above images. Of Lizzy, James says, “She’s the most badass zombie slayer there is.”
Even more fascinating than the reimagined Elizabeth, though, may be the tone director Burr Steers is aiming to strike.
“The idea was that it was Pride and Prejudice set in this alternate world and then for everyone to play it straight. The movie’s big wink is that there is no big wink.”
Even with Lena Headey as an eyepatch-wearing zombie slayer and Charles Dance playing the family patriarch? James affirms, “It’s definitely not camp.”
Much of the romance of Austen’s novel remains intact – Lizzy is courted by the haughty Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) as her sisters tackle their own suitors. It’s just that this time around, all the pithy back-and-forths occur in a landscape transformed by a zombie plague. The “sorry stricken,” as they are known, have been wandering the 19th century English countryside for 70 years, and the Bennet sisters are well-accustomed to their brain-munching.
Matt Smith, Bella Heathcote, Jack Huston, Douglas Booth and Suki Waterhouse make up the supporting cast for the pic, which Steers rewrote from a script by the previously-attached David O. Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook).
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies opens February 5, 2016.