austen-zombiesNow this is my kind of literary classic. One that involves zombies.

Now that the copyright on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has run out, L.A.-based television comedy writer Seth Grahame-Smith is shopping around a new version of the old classic called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Grahame-Smith’s book is due out in stores this April and the writer, whose previous writing credits include several episodes of the 2001 television series “History’s Mysteries” and the 2001 History Channel mini-series “The Most”, already has Hollywood studios bidding on the rights to a movie.

“It quickly became obvious that Jane (Austen) had laid down the blueprint for a zombie novel,” Grahame-Smith told The Sunday Times. “Why else in the original should a regiment arrive on Lizzie Bennet’s doorstep when they should have been off fighting Napoleon? It was to protect the family from an invasion of brain-eaters, obviously,” said the intrepid writer.

Fans of Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice are going to be in for a shock as they read about—and later watch—the Bennet girls slaying zombies using martial arts moves taught to them by Mr. Darcy. Although the bidding is still in progress, no doubt the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies script will be snapped up for a pretty penny, given the recent popularity of subject matter involving zombies, vampires, and other supernatural fare in both the literary and cinematic worlds.

Grahame-Smith isn’t taking all the credit for his masterpiece, however; he cites 85 percent of his novel as Austen’s original text. “I hated her when I was forced to read Austen in school, but when I started re-reading I realized she was a brutal, but very funny, satirist,” he said. “I can only aspire to be as mean-spirited as she could be.”

Likely the “mean-spirited” authoress will be rolling in her grave come April when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is published. One thing is for sure, however: Grahame-Smith had better keep his fingers crossed that zombies remain a thing of the written word and silver screen, or he could be in some very serious trouble.

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