The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie has finally gotten the green light to start production in September, according to Deadline. After overcoming several roadblocks, the much talked about adaptation is moving forward and casting has been announced.
Downton Abbey’s Lily James will portray the heroine Elizabeth Bennet, while Sam Riley (Maleficent) will play the brooding Mr. Darcy. The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie is an adaptation of Grahame-Smith’s 2009 novel, which takes elements from Jane Austen’s beloved classic and adds modern zombie horror aspects to the 19th century love story. Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows) is said to portray one of the Bennet sisters, perhaps Jane.
The film will be directed by Burr Steers (Pulp Fiction), who also wrote the screenplay with David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook). The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novel was a massive hit with readers at the time of its release, and the movie adaptation has been much talked about. Cross Creek Pictures — which acquired the domestic rights in the U.S. — hopes that success will translate into hot movie theater seats.
Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, and Lilly Collins were all attached to the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie project at one point or another, however the studio has settled on Lily James for the role of Elizabeth Bennet, one of the most romantic characters in all of literature. In the original novel, Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth meets the disagreeable, seemingly haughty, and proud Mr. Darcy. However, he is not what he appears and teaches her a very valuable lesson about prejudice.
The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie will follow canon, for the most part, but it is set in an alternate universe, where the dead roam freely in the English countryside. Mr. Bennet has trained his five daughters in the martial arts and other defense techniques in order to protect them from the monsters.
When the rich and handsome Mr. Bingley comes from London to rent a property in the neighborhood for the summer, Mrs. Bennet immediately starts planning how to lure him to marry one of her daughters, preferably her eldest, Jane, known for her beauty and amiable personality. Bingley is a light-hearted, easy going fellow who is accompanied on the trip by Fitzwilliam Darcy, one of the richest bachelors in all of England.
Elizabeth likes Mr. Bingley very much indeed, however, she finds Mr. Darcy quite arrogant and proud, which completely turns her off, or so she thinks. When Mr. Bingley decides to offer a ball for all to attend, the Bennets help fend off a zombie attack and sparks of the romantic kind fly.
The movies website IMDB has Pride and Prejudice and Zombies scheduled for January 1, 2015.
[Image via IndyFilm/Twitter]