If I’m being honest, I wasn’t that big a fan of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Nor did I particularly like the movie adaptation of a different Grahame-Smith novel, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. So at this point, you may be asking yourself, why am I so excited for the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?
In short, because I think it will make a fun movie. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies combines the delights of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with the equal delights of zombie killing, and while the novel did a good job intermeshing the two worlds, the story can only benefit from being on the big screen where the zombie slaying can really pop. Particularly when combined with period clothing and settings.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the film was co-written by Burr Steers, writer of one of my favorite chick flicks, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and David O. Russell, who won Oscar nods for his American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook screenplays.
Because of the combination of worlds, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies can and will appeal to all audiences. Just for different reasons. To find your reason or more likely, reasons, look below for a breakdown of the film’s core elements.
Pride and Prejudice Period Piece
While the novel changes Elizabeth Bennet’s backstory so that she and her family are all zombie slayers, the story still takes place in the world of Pride and Prejudice. As such, it retains its setting in early 19th century England.
To bring out this aspect of the film, the crew started filming at the West Wycombe Park Estate in England at the end of September. Chances are, you’ll recognize the estate when you see it since it’s been in a number of television shows and movies, including Austenland, X-Men: First Class and Downton Abbey.
And for those of you concerned, the book doesn’t stray too far from its Jane Austen roots plot-wise. It hits all the highlights and still follows Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship from distaste to love.
Yes, I hear you Jane Austen fans out there screaming that Pride and Prejudice doesn’t need any improvement, and I may be inclined to agree with you. On the other hand, how can you go wrong with zombie gore?
In Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, England has been overrun by zombies, and both Darcy and Elizabeth are trained killers. These aspects obviously affect the book’s relationship with Pride and Prejudice, most obviously by having zombies appear at almost all times, including at the Bingleys’ ball.
For those of you who aren’t diehard Austen fans, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will punch up the pace, providing fights between some main characters and the deaths of others. If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice, you just might be surprised by who makes it out alive.
One of the major differences between a book and its movie adaptation is that a movie relies on the visual aspect of storytelling. Central to this is the cast, and boy, does Pride and Prejudice and Zombies deliver, particularly if you’re as big a fan of British actors as I am.
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy will be played by Lily James and Sam Riley, respectively. You might not know their names, but I’m sure you know their faces. Lily plays Lady Rose MacClare on Downton Abbey while Sam appeared in this summer’s Maleficent as Maleficent’s servant, Diaval.
Matt Smith (Doctor Who) was only recently cast as Mr. Collins while Douglas Booth, best known for his portrayal of Romeo in the most recent adaptation of Romeo & Juliet with Hailee Steinfeld, will play Mr. Bingley.
Rounding out the big names in the cast are Game of Thrones actors and fellow members of the Lannister family Lena Headey and Charles Dance in as-yet unnamed roles.
The movie isn’t supposed to hit theaters until 2015, which may come as a disappointment, but considering there’s been interest in a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie since 2009, following the book’s success, what’s another year?
But now that filming has started, the movie looks to be more on track than ever and you can finally be excited about it. I mean, it’s at least guaranteed to be better than Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, isn’t it?