It started as a joke. Author Seth Grahame-Smith took Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice, now in the public domain, and carefully wove in gruesome zombie elements into the story by a process he has described as a kind of microsurgery. Quirk Books was initially reluctant to publish the book for fear of alienating Austen’s fans, but when the novel went to press in 2009, modest expectations for the book were quickly set aside when it hit #3 in the New York Times Best Seller List. Since then the book has sold over a million copies and has been translated into 20 languages.
In this new film, Lily James and Sam Riley play Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Bella Heathcote, Jack Huston, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey also star. This is a lot of fairly big names in Hollywood that all agreed to come be in this picture, and they radiate that sense of fun with every frame.
While you watch, be sure to temporarily pause the Krypton Radio music stream using the controller at the upper right.
The first half of the trailer looks like everything you’d expect from a film made from a Jane Austen novel: beautiful English manors in the countryside, and women of society and status in your usual literary drama: gentle piano music, a grand countryside manor, a voiceover about the qualities a young woman needs to survive in polite society. And then a blood-caked zombie shows up, and the true nature of the film is rolled out center stage. The music, by the way, is Sleigh Bells’ A/B Machines. There is no word yet on whether this music will be on the soundtrack album, but it certainly fits here.
If you look carefully, by the way, you will see Matt Smith in one of the quick party scenes.
While this was the first of Grahame-Smith’s parody mashup novels, it isn’t the first to reach the big screen. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter hit the theaters in 2012. This new one comes out February 5, 2016.