This ought to tell you something about the twisty, illogical, and unpredictable nature of the film business. Seth Grahame-Smith, co-author, along with Jane Austen — yes, long-dead British Jane Austen, the one and the same — of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” actually wrote “Zombies” long before he wrote “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”
Oh yes — he’s responsible for that bit of literary gold as well.
Since “Abraham Lincoln” was published, it was optioned and adapted into a movie starring Benjamin Walker as the union-preserving, vampire-conquering 16th president of these United States. It debuted in 2012 and grossed more than $116 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. Its moment has come and gone.
Meanwhile, audiences found themselves waiting like an anxious Bennet sister, hoping for something — a teaser, a trailer, a poster mock-up, anything — to tell them seeing “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” realized onscreen was more than just a pipe dream.
Well, it’s here. Matt Smith, who played “Doctor Who” for four seasons, has been cast as the bumbling, oblivious Mr. Collins. Filming is set to begin Sept. 24, according to the Hollywood Reporter, with a release anticipated sometime in 2015.
Douglas Booth (Romeo from 2013 “Romeo & Juliet,” i.e. the one without Leo) will play Bingley and Lily James (the fantastically impish Lady Rose from “Downton Abbey”) is Elizabeth Bennet. Darcy — yes, yes, that’s the other one we all want to know about, right? — will be played by Sam Riley (“Maleficent,” “On the Road”).
Originally, the novel was optioned by Natalie Portman, who was also planning to star in the film, with David O. Russell set to direct. Portman is still a producer, but she’s not in the movie, which is now being directed by Burr Steers. Look, at this point, this project has been through so many developmental loop-de-loops it’s probably best to just suck it up and be happy it’s getting made.
Still, seeing Smith as Collins, who doesn’t even realize his own wife is transforming into a zombie right before his eyes, should be fun.