If you’re looking for a reflexive, self-aware zombie movie—maybe not unlike “Zombieland”—which plays with walking dead tropes, perhaps even acknowledging how absurd zombies within the world of Jane Austen is, you’re looking in the wrong place. “The idea was that it was ‘Pride and Prejudice’ set in this alternate world and then for everyone to play it straight,” Burr Steers (“Igby Goes Down”), the director of “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies” explained to EW. “The movie’s big wink is that there is no big wink.”
The ‘P&P&Z’ version that’s hitting screens next year is vastly different from the many iterations that were once in development. David O. Russell was once going to direct and Natalie Portman was once attached to star (Russell’s script remnants may still make it into the final fabric of the movie).
An adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s best-selling book (he also wrote “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”), the movie keeps the same dynamic of a love story between Elizabeth Bennet (“Cinderella” star Lily James) and Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley from “Control”), but of course then throws the undead into the mix. Or as they’re called in this 19th-century English countryside milieu: the “sorry stricken.”
The movie also co-stars Bella Heathcote (“Killing Them Softly”), “Game of Thrones” alums Charles Dance and Lena Headey, Matt Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Emma Greenwell, Aisling Loftus, Douglas Booth and Jack Huston.
“It’s definitely not camp,” James stressed to EW. “She’s the most badass zombie slayer there is.” Let’s hope it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but you can judge for yourself as the first trailer from Comic-Con has arrived. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” opens on February 5, 2016. Watch the first trailer below.