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Comic Con 2015: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Patient Zero

07.12.2015
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PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES

I was not particularly excited for this movie after the fairly forgettable ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, but PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES looks like it could be fun if it gets the tone right. The one thing the panel—comprised of cast members Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Boardwalk Empire's Jack Huston, former Doctor Who Matt Smith, writer/director Burr Steers and the book's author Seth Grahame-Smith—continually reiterated was that they made a very serious adaptation of Jane Austen's novel that just so happened to have the undead in it. However, the footage they brought to Hall H seemed to indicate a more humorous edge:

The footage opens with Riley's Mr. Darcy arriving to an aristocratic house (announcing himself in James Bond fashion: "Darcy, Colonel Darcy") where there's been a report of someone bitten by a zombie. He unleashes a jar of flies that can detect dead flesh, and when they all land on one man, Darcy wastes no time in decapitating him in a POV shot from the murdered man's head.

There's an amusing cut to proper English music and we're introduced to Lily James and her four sisters as they gear up and start slashing zombies and stomping on their faces. We see James encounter Mr. Darcy and soon the pair are flirting by fighting each other and ripping their clothes off.  There are shots of Game of Thrones actors Charles Dance and Lena Headey, who wears an eye patch as England's most badass zombie hunter. Matt Smith is also there, apparently as the comic relief as he says things like "Oh fuddle." The footage closed out with a montage of zombie action, including the undead being disposed of by samurai swords, guns, cannons and the final shot of all five Bennet sisters standing back to back covered in blood as zombies surrounded them.

The footage looked nice and violent and seemed self-aware enough that it could be fun. Here's what the cast and crew had to say: 

  • A memorable moment during filming: Lily James accidentally stomped on a real extra's head thinking it was a dummy.
  • Matt Smith, the highlight of the panel, claimed that zombies is exactly what Jane Austen's novel of manners needed and called it a date movie with people getting their heads blown off.
  • When asked if he was similar to his character, Smith said "No, he keeps getting rejected and I've never had a problem with the ladies."
  • Seth Grahame-Smith said that director Burr Steers completely understands the tone of this "stupid, ridiculous idea" and plays the movie as earnestly as possible and isn’t going for the joke. Sam Riley also said they weren't changing much from Austen's book at all: "Mr. Darcy still has his prejudice and snobbery, but with samurai swords and martial arts."
  • Grahame-Smith used to stand in line for hours to get in to Hall H and said it's surreal to be on stage as opposed to the audience.  He also jokingly pitched his next book idea: Wuthering Frights.
  • What would Jane Austen's reaction to the book and movie be? Grahame-Smith said she had a great sense of humor and also wrote some gothic fiction, so he thinks she would dig it. 

PATIENT ZERO

After the PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES panel finished, the last thing the audience in Hall H wanted was another zombie movie. Thankfully, it seems like PATIENT ZERO might have something new up its sleeve. 

The panel started with a newly cut trailer that allegedly even the studio hadn’t seen: 

Title cards tell us that 6 billion people have been infected as we see empty cities and landmarks. It cuts to Matt Smith standing in front of an angry, bloodthirsty "infected" chained to a chair. He says he hates not being able to help him and talks about needing to find the first infected so they can create a vaccine. He plays a Joe Cocker song and apparently the infected really hate music. 

There are some brief intros to Natalie Dormer's scientist love interest and her Game of Thrones' co-star John Bradley (Sam Tarly) as another scientist colleague. Then we see Stanley Tucci tied to a chair. He's clearly infected but not as far gone. All the scientists are shocked when he begins to speak intelligently and doesn't react to music. He says humans are the disease and that his kind have been sent to cure the human infection. There's then a montage of random action bits as the scientists realize the infected are more organized and smarter than they thought. The footage ends with a scene where John Bradley's character has been bitten and Natalie Dormer coldly cuts off his arm. He says "It's a good thing I jerk off with my left hand," right before he begins to turn.  

The footage looked intriguing and at least something different. Cast members Matt Smith, John Bradley, Natalie Dormer, and Clive Standen came out along with director Stefan Ruzowitzky and screenwriter Mike Le to give more insight in to the film:

  • Screenwriter Mike Le actually came up with the idea for the film a few years ago at Comic Con. He was standing in line for Hall H when he saw a zombie smoking a cigarette and started thinking about intelligent zombies. 
  • The cast and crew made it clear that they don't consider the infected to be zombies. The filmmakers said they're more along the lines of the next step in evolution with their own sense of philosophy and organization. 
  • Matt Smith said the dynamic between he and Stanley Tucci is very much like Clarice Starling vs Hannibal Lecter. He said he was also attracted to the film by the great rock and roll music that included The Who, Joe Cocker and the Moody Blues.
  • Natalie Dormer said that each culture invents a monster to represent their time and their fears. The infected in these movies represent our society bombarded by high stress, fast paced lives and social media.  
  • John Bradley beat out Matt Smith for funniest person on the panel, saying his research for the role included jerking off with his left hand and comparing himself to an infected because he hates most music and also hates most humans. 

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:22PM on 07/12/2015
sounds like both films could be good.
sounds like both films could be good.
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