Mike White Drops Out of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES

     January 19, 2011

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a high priority at Lionsgate, but they’re having trouble putting it together.  In the early days, David O. Russell was set to direct Natalie Portman before both bailed (Portman stayed on as producer).  Mike White (Year of the Dog) was hired to replace Russell, but the writer/director has a scheduling conflict with HBO, presumably for his series Enlightened.  White released a gracious statement to Deadline:

“I loved the project and looked forward to working with Lionsgate. Unfortunately, the timing could not be worked out. I wish them the best with the movie.”

Now Lionsgate must return to the drawing board, which previously included David Slade, Jonathan Demme, and Matt Reeves among others.  It’s an enticing project, so I’m sure they’ll lure a talented filmmaker — one that’ll stick — sooner or later.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of the source material, a tongue-in-cheek novel  by Seth Grahme-Smith.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.

What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? [Amazon]

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