Former Doctor Who Matt Smith has signed on to star alongside Lily James, Sam Riley and Jack Huston in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel.

Matt SmithMatt Smith has signed on to star in 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

The project has been in development for years and will finally go into production on September 24. A comedy-horror spin-off of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice, Zombies stars Liz Bennett (James) who is pressurised by her family to marry into a wealth home but rebels against the social requirements of Victorian England. Instead, she sets out to help defend the English countryside against a plague of horrifying zombies.

British actor Smith, who recently wrapped the new Terminator movie Genisys, will play Mr Collins, a rich parson on the lookout for a wife.

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Producing are Cross Creek's Annette Savitch, Tyler Thompson and Marc Butan, Brian Oliver, Allison Shearmur, Sean McKittrick and Natalie Portman. The production company are behind the Oscar-winning Black Swan, political thriller The Ides of March and new Liam Neeson-starrer A Walk Among Tombstones. As well as Zombies, they also have the Johnny Depp drug-drama Black Mass and Kray Twins biopic Legend in development.

Smith is about to make his U.S acting debut with Lost River, the forthcoming fantasy movie written and directed by Ryan Gosling. The movie got a bit of a shoeing on the film festival circuit. The actor spent four years playing Doctor Who in the hugely popular BBC before handing the baton over to Scottish star Peter Capaldi, who recently made his debut in the role to a generally positive reaction from fans and critics. Smith actually appeared in the first episode of the new series, calling his former assistant Clara from the past to assure her that the twelfth regeneration (Capaldi) is still the same Time Lord.