(L ot R) Bella Heathcote, Sam Riley, Lily James

After what seemed to be a film that was destined to never happen, ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ has finished casting and is set to begin production this September! The Seth Grahame-Smith novel was released at the height of the zombie craze in 2009 and created a slew of zombie themed mash-ups which tried to mimic its success. Very quickly the book was optioned to become a feature length film where it quickly stalled, not being able to arrange a director or cast members that would stay with the production.

That has all changed though as Cross Creek Pictures has infected Lily James (‘Wrath of the Titans‘, ‘Downton Abbey’) with the role of Elizabeth Bennett, Sam Riley (‘Maleficent‘, ‘Control’) as Mr. Darcy, and Bella Heathcote (‘Dark Shadows‘, ‘In Time‘) as Elizabeth’s sister. This film is a creative piece of work that sticks the undead into the 1813 Jane Austin classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of readers on this site would need a little influx of zombies to want to pick the book up in the first place, so the idea really was quite a brilliant one at the time. The film is set to be directed by Burr Steers (’17 Again’, ‘Igby Goes Down’) based on a screenplay by David O. Russell (‘American Hustle’, ‘Three Kings’).

The adaptation has gone through a slew of potential directors: from script writer David O. Russell to Mike White (‘Year of the Dog’, ‘Enlightened’) to Craig Gillespie (‘Fight Night‘, ‘Lars and the Real Girl’) before finally ending with Steers. Casting has also been in constant flux throughout the entire process where Natalie Portman and Emma Stone had both been up for the lead roles at one time or another.

Are you looking forward to ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ finally shambling its way to the big screen? Do you think they picked a good cast or would you have made any changes?

Novel Synopsis:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

Source: Deadline