Jumping Adaptations: “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” Finds Their Mister Bingley

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The zombies are coming thick and fast; the latest casting for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been announced. Douglas Booth, who was Pip in the wonderful 2011 BBC production of Great Expectations, has signed on to play nice but dim Mr Bingley.

Bingley is Mr Darcy’s best friend and future husband of Jane Bennet; at least he is in the original Jane Austen novel. I dread to think what will happen to him in this production.

Directed by Burr Steers and adapted from Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel of the same name, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a parody of the celebrated book. In the film our heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, not only fights off the unwanted (at first) advances of Mr Darcy but the undead, as well. Known as the “sorry stricken”, zombies are apparently rife in early 18th century England. Who knew?

Booth joins a growing cast including Lily James (Lizzy Bennet), Sam Riley (Mr Darcy), Jack Huston (Mr Wickham) and Bella Heathcote, who plays one of the Bennet sisters; Jane I assume. He has the gentle looks of a Mr Bingley, and can certainly pull off the upper middle-class persona, but can he handle himself against zombies? We will just have to wait and see.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is due to start filming sometime this month. While you wait for the zombie fun and frolics, you may want to reacquaint yourself with the original Pride and Prejudice, one of the greatest stories ever written. Also, the 1996 BBC miniseries is, quite simply, the best screen adaptation of any Austen novel ever. Watch it, then brace yourself for the sorry stricken. They are coming.

Sara Hunter Smith