The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has inspired countless undead puns with its talent troubles. Natalie Portman was originally attached to star, but dropped out (she is still producing). Since then, the lead role has been offered to the likes of Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, and Blake Lively—no takers. Meanwhile, David O. Russell, Mike White, and Craig Gillespie all signed on to direct at one point before they eventually departed the project.
Panorama Media recently came on board to produce and finance the picture. First step: Drop the first “and” so it’s just Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. Next step: Sign a director and star. Variety reports that Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) is set to direct and Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror) is in talks to play Elizabeth Bennet. Much as I like Collins, it’s clear the producers have lowered their sights a bit from the Russell/Portman days—hopefully Steers and Collins will be easier to handcuff to the project. Read the book synopsis after the jump.
The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s gimmick novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been trying to get off the ground for years. It’s gone through directors (David O. Russell then Mike White and then Craig Gillespie), and cycled through a number of actors who have all passed on the roles. For those unfamiliar with the book, Grahame-Smith’s took Jane Austen‘s classic novel and shoved in zombies. The title is not misleading. Despite the lack of urgency to make this movie, Panorama Media has announced that they’ve joined Darko Entertainment, Handsomecharlie, and producer Allison Shearmur to bring the book to the big screen. The producers are still out looking for a director but until they can keep one on board and find a bankable cast, don’t expect this movie to get out of development hell.
Hit the jump for the press release.
Thanks to the success of his 2010 Oscar-magnet The Fighter, David O. Russell has been able to parlay that acclaim and interest to new projects, including Silver Linings Playbook, a Weinstein Co. feature about bipolar disorder starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence, which premiered this past Saturday at Toronto (read Matt’s positive review here).
Russell is also looking towards doing an upcoming film about the Abscam corruption scandal, a currently untitled piece (previously referred to as American Bullshit), that will be another collaboration with Cooper, as well as Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Now word comes that Cooper may link up again with Russell for a property he acquired called American Sniper. Hit the jump for more on these projects as well as this new found creative partnership (and where the zombies come in).
Seth Grahame-Smith is becoming the go-to guy for genre projects. After writing a number of tongue-in-cheek comedy books, Grahame-Smith broke big with his novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in which he mixed a zombie plot into Jane Austen’s classic novel. He followed that book up with another mash-up, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and now both properties are getting the big screen treatment. Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and was tapped by Tim Burton to write his adaptation of the cult soap series Dark Shadows. Burton was so impressed with Grahame-Smith’s work that he hired him to write a sequel to the horror-comedy classic Beetlejuice (read Grahame-Smith’s update on that project here).
Steve recently got the chance to speak with Grahame-Smith at WonderCon where he was promoting the upcoming release of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The scribe gave an update on the long-in-development feature adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, his next book Unholy Night (which is also getting the movie treatment), talked about the tone of Dark Shadows and fan response to the trailer, and more. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
When it’s this hard to get a movie made, one has to wonder if it’s even worth making in the first place. The adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has cycled through a number of directors, many actresses have passed on the leading role, and now the current director has called it quits as well. Fright Night director Craig Gillespie has exited the project in what’s described as an amicable split with Lionsgate, as the two apparently disagreed on who to cast. Gillespie replaced Mike White on the project, who himself replaced original director David O. Russell. Actresses who have been offered the lead and passed include Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, and most recently Blake Lively. Hit the jump for more including who could possibly come on to replace Gillespie.
On this installment of For Your Consideration John, Dennis and Soul Video discuss:
- The Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt film 50/50
- Can Seth Rogen convincingly lead a major film?
- The news flurry and misinformation regarding all of the Arrested Development hub bub (despite what you may have heard, nothing has been confirmed)
- The continuing difficulty Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is having trying to land a major lead actress to be in the film (like 6 have turned them down so far)
And many things more. Hit the jump to watch.
As the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s gimmick novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has cycled through directors (first David O. Russell, then Mike White, and now Craig Gillespie), multiple actresses have passed on the lead role of Elizabeth Bennett. Natalie Portman was originally attached to star, but then she dropped out. The part has been offered to Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, and there have been no takers. Now Twitch reports that Blake Lively is getting offered the chance to play the rebellious daughter who eventually gives her heart to Mr. Darcy, but she now also slays zombies. No word yet if Lively will take the part.
No offense to Ms. Lively, but she’s not A-list, at least not yet anyway. Yes, she stars on Gossip Girl which is one the CW’s highest-rated shows, but it’s the CW so that’s a lot like being the world’s richest hobo. If she’s been offered the role, it may be a sign that the production is accepting that they can’t get a marquee name to sign on. Lively recently co-starred in the awful indie Hick (although she’s not why it’s awful) and she’ll be co-starring in Oliver Stone’s adaptation of Savages. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.
Despite the living dead being hotter than ever, zombies are having a tough time coming to the silver screen. The film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling mashup, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, once seemed like a sure thing. Yet that simply isn’t the case anymore. The project has started and stalled repeatedly over the last few years, beginning in December 2009 when Natalie Portman first announced she would both produce and star in the film. Enter a long list of potential directors, and Portman dropping out of the role last October, and things started to become hazy. Then Craig Gillespie (Fright Night) came on board as director in April and things finally seemed to be heading in the right direction. Now, all of that seems to be in question again. Sigh. Hit the jump for full details and more.
[Update: Reps for Lionsgate have emailed us saying that Gillespie is still attached to direct.]
After testing the waters with Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, and Scarlett Johansson, Lionsgate has offered the female lead in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to Emma Stone. Heat Vision reports on the offer to play Elizabeth Bennet, a zombie-killing heroine who sees her quest to save England from the undead made more difficult by the arrival of Fitzwilliam Darcy. The role was originally filled by Natalie Portman and has been vacant since the Oscar-winning actress decided to act solely in a producing capacity on the pic. Craig Gillespie (Fright Night remake) will direct Pride from an updated script by Fright Night scribe Marti Noxon.
For more on the project, hit the jump to check out a synopsis of Seth Grahame-Smith’s book which the film will adapt. If Stone accepts Lionsgate’s offer, Pride would be another high-profile pic for the actress who recently wrapped director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. She can also be seen alongside Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid, Love. due out July 29th and stars in The Help which is slated to hit theaters on August 12th.
It looks as if scribe Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) will reunite with director Craig Gillespie on Lionsgate’s adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling parody novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Having recently teamed-up for the upcoming Fright Night remake starring Colin Farrel and Anton Yelchin, TheWrap reports that Noxon has written a new Zombies draft for Gillespie who took the helm back in April. At that time, it was believed that the director would use a script by David O. Russell (The Fighter). It now looks as if Russell’s effort will fall to the wayside to make room for Noxon’s draft.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has yet to cast any roles after Natalie Portman dropped out of the lead to act solely as a producer. For those unfamiliar, Grahame-Smith’s book tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a zombie-killing heroine who sees her efforts to save England from the undead interrupted by fellow hunter Fitzwilliam Darcy. For more on the project, hit the jump to check out a more detailed synopsis of the book.
The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novelty book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been cycling through directors for over a year. In December 2009, David O. Russell came on board to write and direct, but left the following October. Then in November, Mike White (Year of the Dog) signed on to direct, but he dropped out last January. Now Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) has the gig and he has given his first interview on his plans for the film.
The most interesting fact he provides is that he’ll use O. Russell’s script, because “it has such a great mix of humor and horror. I just love being able to juggle those two aspects.” Hit the jump for more on what Gillespie had to say about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Could this project finally have a director? Lionsgate’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has gone through so many director changes that it’s becoming impossible to keep track. Well now, it seems that long-rumored frontrunner Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) is poised to land the job. Directors David O. Russell and Mike White were previously attached to direct the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s retelling of Jane Austen’s classic, with a number of directors “rumored”, “in contention”, and “in talks” over the course of development.
Deadline reports that fellow contenders, including David Katzenberg and Smith himself, have been notified that the position will be given to Gillespie. The director recently wrapped the remake of Fright Night with Colin Farrell. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.
Update: THR has now confirmed that Craig Gillespie will officially helm the project. So, finally, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has a director.
The MTV scripted comedy The Hard Times of RJ Berger, from co-creators/executive producers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith, returns for a funnier, more ambitious, raunchier and even more heartfelt second season. In Season 1, viewers got to see the anatomically gifted RJ Berger (Paul Iacono) chasing after the girl of his dreams (Amber Lancaster) and, now that he has her, Season 2 sees him facing various obstacles in keeping her. At the same time, RJ’s parents have romantic struggles of their own, when they announce to the teenager that they are separating. As with most high school experiences, life for RJ Berger turns out to not be everything he imagined it would be.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, Seth Grahame-Smith talked about paving the way for original programming at MTV, making the show bigger and better for Season 2, balancing the series with 50% heart and 50% fart, and their guest cameos with Paris Hilton, Weezer and Vinny from Jersey Shore.
Grahame-Smith also previewed his next novel, which he’s currently writing, talked about the possibility of he and Katzenberg directing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, adapted from his own best-selling novel, talked about the process of adapting his own novel for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is now in production, writing dialogue specifically for Johnny Depp for the Dark Shadows script, which goes into production in May, collaborating with Tim Burton, and his goals for making Dark Shadows fun and funny. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
In what’s quickly becoming the longest search for a director ever, a couple of new names have cropped up as contenders to helm Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In addition to the aforementioned Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), Heat Vision reports that the author of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novel himself, Seth Grahame-Smith, is in consideration to co-direct the flick with partner David Katzenberg (son of DreamWorks Animation guru Jeffrey).
Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg previously created and wrote the MTV comedy The Life and Times of RJ Berger. Grahame-Smith is currently writing the screenplay to the film adaptation of his other “history + supernatural” tome Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in addition to scripting Dark Shadows for Tim Burton. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has had a very, very large number of directors attached/rumored/de-tached/in talks over the last few months, so I think I speak for everyone when I say please, pick someone already.
Lionsgate’s upcoming adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has had a tough time finding its way in front of cameras. The studio has been trying to bring the Seth Grahme-Smith comedy-horror novel to the big screen for the past year or so with no luck. David O. Russell (The Fighter) was first attached to direct the project with Natalie Portman set to produce and star in the film. Portman then left the project, followed by Russell. The studio then began to look for a new director with such names as Jonathan Demme, Matt Reeves, and David Slade being rumored for the job. The studio eventually decided to go with Mike White (Year of the Dog) to only then have White walk away from the project a couple of weeks later due to a scheduling conflict with his upcoming HBO show, Enlightment. Now, Vulture is reporting that Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) is the latest director being rumored for the gig.
Gillespie seems to be a smart and logical choice for the studio. He may be currently best known for directing 2007’s heartbreakingly sweet Lars and the Real Girl, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lionsgate is choosing to court the director before he becomes a top choice for studios after his upcoming remake of Fright Night comes out later on this year. It will now be interesting to see if the film will finally go into production or if Gillespie will end up leaving the project as well. You can hit the jump to read a synopsis for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.