What’s next after you just spent three seasons as the Eleventh Traveling Time Lord? A bit of Jane Austen and Zombies, obviously. The adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel of the same name has been in the works since 2009, long before Matt Smith became a household face and name as The Doctor, and was originally rumored to be a 6-part television series. Smith has joined the cast as a ‘Mr. Collins’, alongside girlfriend Lily James (Downton Abbey) who is playing the lead.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, affectionately known as P&P&J, is a horror-comedy twist on Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice and follows Liz Bennet (James) as she is pressured by her mother into marrying into the wealthy upper classes. But, thanks to martial arts training from her father, Liz and her sisters are far better suited to defending the English countryside from the grips of a horrifying zombie plague. Sounds more like Downton Abbey meets Buffy, the Vampire Slayer if you ask me.
In addition to Smith and James, Sam Riley (On the Road) will star as Fitzwilliam Darcy, the obligatory pompous, but well-intentioned monster hunter, with Douglas Booth (em>Romeo and Juliet) playing the eligible Mr Bingley and Jack Huston (em>American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire) as the devious Wickham. Booth will be most recognizable to BBC and PBS viewers for his role as Pip in the 2011 BBC remake of Great Expectations.
James is putting together quite the career since she took the residents of Downton Abbey by storm at the end of series 3. She has quietly filled her CV during her off-months filming Downton by taking on the lead role in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and is rumored to be considering the lead in the upcoming BBC epic production of War and Peace. Smith has been busy, himself, having just finished filming a major role in Terminator: Genisys opposite Emilia Clarke and Arnold Schwarzenegger followed next year by a part in Ryan Gosling’s film directorial debut, Lost River. Filming for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is set to begin on September 24