The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trailer is what you get if you take beloved classic chick lit and spice it up with a dash of bloody zombie-slashing and a sprinkle of sex appeal. The movie mash-up is like a ménage à trois arranged by Quentin Tarantino if he invited Jane Austen and George A. Romero to join him.
The opening of the first Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trailer will bring to mind other adaptations of Jane Austen’s novel and the many incarnations of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet — some Austen lovers might start daydreaming about Matthew MacFadyen and Keira Knightley, others will sigh over a dashing young Colin Firth and a fresh-faced Jennifer Ehle.
However, the Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies doesn’t get to spend the entire movie navigating England’s Regency period social scene while she tries to convince herself that she’s really not attracted to the arrogant Mr. Darcy — there are zombies that need to be vanquished, and you’ve got to show a little leg whenever you fight the undead. Judging from the trailer, the proper place for a lady to carry her weapon is underneath her petticoat, tucked in her boot or in a thigh holster.
As Variety points out, the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trailer takes a rather Kill Bill-esque turn when the first zombie makes an appearance.
“To succeed in polite society, a young woman must be many things: kind, well-read and accomplished,” Elizabeth says in the trailer. “But to survive in the world as we know it, she’ll need other qualities.”
This is when Elizabeth and her sisterhood of zombie slayers whip out their weapons and get to work. Bennet is fittingly wearing a dress that’s Cinderella blue — the most ladylike zombie slayer you’ll ever see is being played by Cinderella actress Lily James, who has traded the Disney princess’ blonde locks for brunette curls. The 26-year-old Downton Abbey star bloodies her fancy white gloves while she uses two knives to take out one of the walking dead (or the “sorry stricken”).
In addition to Lily James, the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies cast includes an impressive array of familiar faces. Maleficent actor Sam Riley is James’ love interest, Mr. Darcy; Dr. Who star Matt Smith plays Mr. Collins, the insufferable clergyman who is shocked when Elizabeth Bennet turns down his proposal; model Suki Waterhouse and Dark Shadows star Bella Heathcote play Elizabeth’s sisters, Kitty and Jane; Romeo & Juliet star Douglas Booth is Jane’s love interest, Mr. Bingley; and Boardwalk Empire star Jack Huston plays the dashing but dastardly Mr. Wickham.
According to Zap2it, stars Matt Smith and Lily James are dating in real life. James revealed that her romantic partner is an absolute riot in their zombie flick, and she seems to find it rather amusing that she gets to turn down his character’s proposal.
“The thing about Matt is he doesn’t really stick to the script ever. There was a lot of improv going on. It was funny. He proposes to me, I say no.”
Matt Smith’s Mr. Collins may be a character who audiences will laugh at, but Smith says that Elizabeth’s suitor isn’t in on the joke.
“I thought he could be a bit silly and provide a bit of light relief to the drama of the love story and stuff… It’s silly. It’s definitely on the sillier side — although he doesn’t think he’s silly. He thinks he’s really smart and clever.”
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lily James made sure to let horror fans know that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t a campy movie — the stars are playing it as straight as the straight-laced society that Elizabeth Bennet has to put up with.
With The Walking Dead season premiere airing Sunday night, now was the perfect time to unveil the first trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Fans of the flesh-eaters that populate the AMC TV series are feeling pretty euphoric right now, and they already have zombies on the brain. Since they’re seeing the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trailer right before The Walking Dead premiere, perhaps they’ll link the movie to that same feeling of feverish excitement that they get when they watch the TV series.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is based on the best-selling Pride and Prejudice adaptation of the same name written by author Seth Grahame-Smith. Grahame-Smith also penned the Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter mash-up that go the movie treatment in 2012. It starred Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will hit theaters on February 5, 2016.
[Featured image credit: Lionsgate]