The combination of period drama and the supernatural is a very niche movie genre, and one that hasn’t yet quite decided whether or not it’s going to catch on. Now, following the weak box office performance of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the somewhat more successful Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, comes Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This historical action film is an adaptation of the book by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the novel upon which Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was based, and pits the five Bennet sisters against the perils of zombies and the pitfalls of Regency era social customs.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies stars Lily James (Cinderella) as Elizabeth Bennet and Sam Riley (On the Road) as her brooding, bad-tempered love interest Mr Darcy. The world that they live in isn’t by any means post-apocalyptic, but Elizabeth and her sisters have been schooled in the ladylike arts of fencing, musket-cleaning and martial arts instead of embroidery, so as to better deal with the zombie nuisance that’s been wandering the countryside for over 70 years.
Several directors were attached to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies over the course of its long and troubled development, but Burr Steers (17 Again) is the man who ended up behind the camera. Speaking in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Steers explained that his movie isn’t an outright parody and the zombies aren’t treated as a punchline.
“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.”
Check out some wink-free official stills from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies below.
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As these images show, the zombie epidemic isn’t enough reason to abandon important things like fashion and romance. Adding weapons in easy-to-reach places becomes as much a part of getting ready as tightening corsets and braiding hair. Presumably the troubled courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy will still be a focus of the film, as will the romance between Jane Bennet (Bella Heathcote) and the wealthy Mr Bingley (Douglas Booth), who are seen getting (spoiler alert) married in the final photo.
Steers wrote the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well as directing the movie, and the other Bennet sisters are Kitty (Suki Waterhouse), Mary (Millie Brady) and Lydia (Ellie Bamber). The cast also includes Charles Dance, Lena Headey and former Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who plays pompous clergyman Mr Collins.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hits theaters on February 5th, 2016.
Source: Entertainment Weekly