Novelist Seth Grahame-Smith gave Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, something of a makeover back in 2009 when he published Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Taking the original story and characters of Austen’s creation, Smith successfully managed to incorporate the undead into the Regency era, and in doing so, also empowered Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters; turning them into weapon wielding zombie fighters.
It’s hardly surprising that a film was soon ordered, but the road to get Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on the big screen has been far from straightforward, with directors departing the project and financing being an issue. Finally, Burr Steers took up the mantle, both writing the screenplay for the film and directing it. It’s a bit of a genre change for him; previous credits include 17 Again and The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.
Lily James (Cinderella) stars as Elizabeth Bennet, with Sam Riley (Maleficent) as her brooding Mr Darcy. Matt Smith (Doctor Who) also stars alongside, as Mr Collins, with Suki Waterhouse (Insurgent), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows), and newcomers Ellie Bamber and Millie Brady as the remaining Bennet sisters. Game of Thrones' Charles Dance and Lena Heady also star. The first UK teaser trailer for the movie has dropped online ahead of the movie’s February release, and you can watch it, above.
Along with the trailer, Lionsgate have also released a promotional poster for the movie - one that features a twist on Austen’s classic opening lines to the original novel and also pays homage to the original cover of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. You can check out that one-sheet, below:
The trailer works very well; after all, this is still a period piece at heart and this first look footage seems to suggest that Steers hasn’t forgotten this. He has previously stated that the movie should not be viewed as a parody, adding that the movie's big wink is that there is no big wink. This teaser does a great job of lulling an audience into a false sense of security; you could be forgiven for thinking you’re watching the trailer for the next period blockbuster....until the zombie appears, that is.
From there, the pace picks up rapidly; profiling an army of five sisters who are not to be messed with. Austen did a great job with these women, creating literary icons that managed to remain strong and independent despite the expectations placed on their sex in those times - and it seems as though Steers’ screenplay has translated Smith’s take on this nicely to the screen.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be released in U.S. theaters on February 5th, 2016.
Source: Lionsgate UK