It’s apparently a good day for inexplicably sexualized British Muppet men to almost, but not quite, pay tribute to the works of Jane Austen. First there was Benedict Cumberbatch doing his best, wettest Mr. Darcy impression for charity, and now there’s the news that former Doctor Who star Matt Smith has signed on for a role in Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, which continues to shamble toward production despite all efforts to put it down. Smith will be taking on the role of Mr. Collins in the Burr Steers-directed adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s “expanded”—in the sense that a corpse expands, due to the laws of decay and decomposition—version of Austen’s classic novel. Collins is a classically stuffy, obsequious clergymen who seeks one of the Bennett daughters’ hands in marriage, a metaphor which will probably get all gross and literal.
Smith will be joined by Downton Abbey’s Lily James, playing an inevitably blood-stained and embarrassing facsimile of classic literary heroine Elizabeth Bennett, and a bunch of other people who should really know better, including former Boardwalk Empire actor and future Ben-Hur Jack Huston.
We can only hope Smith and Steers will be able to resist the urge to throw in a lot of references to “timey-wimey” things from the Smith’s former sci-fi role and simply respect the sanctity and dignity of the written word, seen here in the form of a film script about zombies messily rampaging through one of English literature’s greatest treasures.