Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth is dipping his toes into the world of horror with Deadline reporting that he will star in the STXfilms and Tencent Pictures action-comedy film New York Will Eat You Alive. A tentative title for the film, the movie is an adaptation of the digital comic Zombie Brother created by Jia Haibo. Todd Strauss-Schulson (Isn’t It Romantic) is will direct the film from a script by Alex Rubens. In addition to STXfilms and Tencent, among the film's producers also includes Channing Tatum and Peter Kiernan’s Free Association. The series originally debuted in 2011 as a serialized comic series with an animated series produced in 2013.
“We always wanted to cast this in a way that would give life to the source material and elevate the action and you can’t achieve that goal any better than hiring Colin Firth,” Adam Fogelson, Chairman of the STXfilms Motion Picture Group said in a statement. “From The King’s Speech to Kingsman, Colin always gives an Oscar-caliber performance. We’re thrilled to be reuniting with him on New York Will Eat You Alive in a role that will allow him to have fun while showcasing his deadpan humor and comic timing.”
Very little is known about the plot of the upcoming adaptation, though a quick deep dive into the series reveals it's a horror-comedy about people trying to escape a city overrun by a virus. Timely! STX Films will distribute the movie in the US and UK with Tencent releasing the film in China.
As stated by Fogelson, Firth's involvement in the project is a perhaps a bit of a headscratcher. Having won an Academy Award for his role in the drama The King's Speech and been nominated for his part in A Single Man, Firth is best known for appearing in dramatic roles throughout his career including other films like Bridget Jones's Diary, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, and Pride and Prejudice.
Firth made his comic book debut in 2015 though, starring as Harry Hart in Matthew Vaughn's feature film Kingsman: The Secret Service, a role he reprised for the 2017 sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. That was a major shift for him as well, and it was an intentional choice for him as an actor.
"One of the things that makes you want to be an actor, speaking only for myself, is that there’s something infantile about it," Firth previously told Collider in 2015. "You’re suspending disbelief, pretending and entering into a story world. If you’re going to do the kind of movies that show a harsh mirror to reality, that probably wasn’t what you were in it for when you were little, but this is. This is like stepping into the shoes of the people that were your heroes, growing up. I feel like that was in mind, when this was being created. It was the stuff that we loved when we were kids and we fell in love with cinema."
Check back here for more details on New York Will Eat You Alive, or whatever its final title ends up being, as we learn them.