Australian actress Bella Heathcote has been cast in the lead of one of the strangest films of the year, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
The film is based on the best-selling book of the same name, a "mash-up" of the iconic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice and "zombie" horror stories.
The book, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, was published in 2009. It was part of a literary genre that blends classics with the tropes of modern horror, such as zombies, vampires and other iconic monsters.
Other well-known examples include Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.
Production on the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is set for September.
Heathcote is a former winner of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, which is awarded annually by the LA-based non-profit organisation Australians in Film.
The 27-year-old Melbourne native will be joined by Downton Abbey star Lily James and Sam Riley, who most recently appeared in the 2014 Disney blockbuster Maleficent.
James will play the novel's heroine, Elizabeth Bennett, and Riley will play the dashing Mr Darcy, now re-cast as a "monster hunter". Heathcote will play Jane Bennett, Elizabeth’s sister, who falls for the dashing Mr Bingley.
Plans for a film adaptation of the book have been kicking around Hollywood since 2009. At different times of its life, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Lily Collins have been flagged as possible stars.
Portman is still attached to the project, as a co-producer.