We received everyone’s e-mails about the zombie movie–and thanks. But we’re not seeing anything new here. The reports all come from this Variety article, which to us has the odor of Somebody’s People trying to raise some buzz about the project; Mission Accomplished! We reported last April that Natalie Portman was going to play Lizzy if this film ever got made, and predicted it a few days before that (Natalie is Keira’s evil twin, after all). The only thing new in this article is that Portman’s production company is involved. There is no filming date announced, no release date; we’ll believe it’s happening when we see the first grainy paparazzi shots from the set and not a moment before, at which point we will commence ignoring it.
Review by Cynthia Kartman
Mr. Seth Grahame-Smith
Los Angeles, California
Tuesday 16 June 2009
Literary Pantheon, The Great Beyond
Universe, Known and Unknown
It has come to my attention that you have used my book, Pride and Prejudice, as the basis of your new book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, published in April of this year.
All of us here in the Pantheon are surprised and many of us not a little jealous that you, by modifying one of our works, have made the enormous sums of money that eluded us in our earthly lifetimes. Mr. Dickens, in particular, is distressed; anything touching royalties sets him off. One might think that we would be beyond jealousy here; but sadly, it is a truth pantheonistically acknowledged that there is no such place in the universe.
Congratulations to Seth Grahame-Smith! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is No. 3 on the New York Times Paperback Trade Fiction Bestseller List this week! Apparently it’s doing well in the UK, too. The BBC has an interview with Seth:
What’s been the reaction from the literary establishment?
I was expecting to be burned in effigy to be honest. So far the reaction has been mostly positive.
Most people have a great sense of humour about it, particularly the ‘Jane-ites’, who must prefer this to the 60th or 70th Mr Darcy’s private thoughts collection that seems to come out every year.
Oh, bless his heart. Some constituencies can never get enough of Mr. Darcy’s private thoughts, but in other cases he’s not far off. And this is a quotation for the ages:
I like my zombies slow and I like my zombies stupid.
Hear, hear! Publisher’s Weekly has news on Seth’s next book, Abraham Lincoln the Vampire Slayer. Gee, who was his Watcher? And do you think the media hipsters will complain about the Uptight Purist Lincolnites? The New Yorker has an article as well.
And it is only to be used in connection with reviews of The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet. The Editrix Hath Spoken.*
We’ve been following all the excitement about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with much bemusement. In fact, there’s been so much interest that we heard from Quirk Books today that they’re moving up the publication date to April. There haven’t been a whole lot of comments on the various posts we’ve made about it here, but they’ve been mostly positive, or at least taking a wait-and-see attitude; there are even a few Janeite zombie fans who are pretty excited about it. We’ve seen a few less positive comments around the ‘nets, but as in most things in the Janeite diaspora, we’re not speaking with one voice; opinions are all over the spectrum, because we Janeites really don’t march in lockstep.
However, Seth Grahame-Smith, the author, seems to see it as an “us vs. them” situation: people either love it or hate it, and clearly the haters are the Uptight Purist Janeite types. So in the interest of fellowship among authors (especially those with the same publisher), we would like to gently point out to Mr. Grahame-Smith that the Janeites are his audience, too, and to marginalize us or dismiss us en masse as Uptight Purist Janeites would be to invite us to ask ourselves: What Would Jane Do?
Since you think P&P is about “uptight aristocrats”, we’ll give you a hint: she would probably, well, eat your brain.
(By the bye, we’ll have a few copies of P&P and Zombies to give away on AustenBlog, so stay tuned).
Thanks to Alert Janeite Laurel Ann for the link.
ETA: Mr. Grahame-Smith has sent us a little valentine.
A couple more Alert Janites (thanks, Arin and Peg) sent us a link to a description of P&P and Zombies on the Chronicle Books site, which had an interesting tidbit that we missed first time around:
Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice)
We think that was actually the anonymous illustrator of the 1830s Bentley editions, but never mind–Brock drawing zombies is inspired! (And we just remembered that an editor from Quirk contacted us to ask about the illustrations from Molland’s, and we offered to lend them our copy of the Brock-illustrated P&P if they promised to be very very careful as it is 100+ years old and quite fragile, and they never followed up…now we know why!) We still suspect the concept and the package will carry the day, but the joke in the text might get kind of old. Well, it remains to be seen–we hope it will just be a lot of goofy fun.