On May 13, you may find out. Quirk Books will release the much anticipated Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in what may be the strangest collaboration to date. Seth Grahame-Smith—author of such titles as How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills, and The Big Book of Porn: A Penetrating Look at the World of Dirty Movies teams up with early nineteenth century writer Jane Austen. You might remember her from such hits as Sense and Sensibility, and Emma.
Wanting to freshen up an older work, Austen turned to Grahame-Smith for some new punch for the dated novel. Many authors are doing this these days. After the initial books runs through the market and inevitably slips down the bestseller list, some authors have turned to adaptations rather than writing fresh material. And who better to turn to than Seth Grahame-Smith.
True, Austen may turn off her core audience with new scenes of “bone-crunching zombie action” but this pales in comparison to the new zombie devotees she will attract. In this new adaptation, Elizabeth Benet fights off a horde of zombies, spawned from a mysterious plague. Only to be distracted by the arrival of the arrogant Mr. Darcy.
As ripe as this concept is for film, someone has already beaten Austen to the punch? Elton John’s production company (yes, that Elton John) will produce a movie titled Pride and Predator in which, you guessed it, halfway through the Pride and Prejudice novel an alien hunter lands to deal out alien justice. This only illustrates the problem with having your work go public domain. Just ask Florence Stoker about that. (Personally, I’m waiting for the lawsuit from Fox for the title—too close the Schwarzenegger pic).
Now that Austen and Grahame-Smith has set the stage for combining horror and classic literature, what’s next? Great Expectations and Vampires, in which Pip is lured to drink blood by a vampiric Miss Havisham. Or perhaps Jane Eyre meets… no wait, that’s already horror. I suppose Bertha Mason could be modeled after Norman Bates from Psycho. That would be a movie I’d pay to see.
What about going the opposite direction? Perhaps Dracula can be defeated by the Jonas Brothers in a High School Musical like production? For television, we could have a Grey’s Anatomy meet Dr. Frankenstein. The plot could circle around the ethical dilemma of grafting a new organ onto the monster.