Natalie Portman
Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos

It was probably inevitable, but I’m still amused by the latest Jane Austen news (and that there is always fresh “Jane Austen news” is also kind of fun): Natalie Portman has signed on to produce and star in an adaptation of this year’s Austen mash-up by Seth Graehme, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Portman will play Elizabeth Bennet, who in this version will be fighting the undead as she simultaneously romances the arrogant Mr. Darcy. When Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her screenplay for Sense and Sensibility in 1996, she joked in her acceptance speech that she’d stopped by Austen’s grave at Winchester Cathedral “to pay my respects, you know, and tell her about the grosses.” It was funny then. Thirteen years later, it’s still kind of astonishing that Austen remains a prominent figure in pop culture. Help me out: Has that happened with any other novelist born in the 18th century? And what do you think about Portman’s casting? She certainly has looks to play a period heroine. But if I get my wish, she’ll bring less refinement to the role and more…well, this:

Photo Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos