It’s been a long, hard road for the big screen adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the bestselling horror-comedy mash-up written by Seth Grahame-Smith using Jane Austen’s classic novel as a frame. The project finally started moving forward last month with casting and distribution, and now they’ve really gotten our attention by adding a former Doctor to their ranks, as Matt Smith has signed on.
For those unfamiliar with the story—or just those who don’t understand what mash-ups are—Pride and Prejudice and Zombies tells the story of Elizabeth “Liz” Bennett (Lily James), who lives on a country estate with her parents and four sisters. There, they’re trained to protect themselves against the zombie outbreak in the outside world. From there, love and marriage guide part of the story, with Liz always keeping an eye out for available men, while bloodlust and massacre guide the rest, as the story inevitably leaves the countryside.
Smith will star as Mr. William Collins, a cousin of the Bennett patriarch who nonetheless still tries to take Liz’s hand in marriage. And you thought zombies were the weirdest part of this story. Collins is something of an aloof character, guided by motivations that aren’t always in anyone’s best interests.
Matt Smith played the Time Lord on Doctor Who for four years, passing on the TARDIS’ keys to Peter Capaldi this year. To be expected, the role took up much of his life for those years, though he’s starting to branch out theatrically. Hear him talk about his final appearance as the Doctor in the video below.
Smith will make his U.S. film debut at some point this year or next in Ryan Gosling’s first directorial effort, the fantasy thriller Lost River. He’ll then make his way to another sci-fi franchise in Alan Taylor’s Terminator: Genisys, which hits theaters next summer.
Directed by Burr Steers, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies also stars Jack Huston, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, and Douglas Booth. Universal will be putting the film into theaters at some point in 2015, and production is scheduled to begin on September 24. Are you ready to watch Smith taking on the undead?