The directing gig for the upcoming adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s horror-comedy parody novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is nearly settled. David O. Russell was originally going to direct (Three Kings), but left the project to direct an adaptation of the video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune instead.
After that, such directors as David Slade (Hard Candy), Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), Mike Newell (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Mike White (Year of the Dog), and the directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) were in the running. Now, Mike White has emerged as the top contender to helm the film. Hit the jump to find out why White is a surprising choice and, whom White might direct if he gets the job.
As you can guess by the book’s title, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a retelling of Jane Austen’s seminal novel… but with zombies. The project is described as a “Victorian-era Zombieland,” and whoever directs the film will have to balance the novel’s quirky mix of comedy, horror, romance, and costume drama on screen.
According to 24 Frames, Mike White has become the top choice because of this. This is a bit of surprising news given that White is a relatively inexperienced director since he has only directed one film: Year of the Dog. However, his past screenwriting credits show that he can handle broad comedy (School of Rock) and dark comedy (Chuck and Buck) quite well. It’ll be interesting to see if White can handle horror too if he signs on for Pride.
Though Mia Wasikowska was rumored for the starring role of Elizabeth Bennett, Scarlett Johansson is reportedly the current frontrunner with Bradley Cooper set to play Mr. Darcy. Tilda Swinton and Catherine O’Hara have also been mentioned for the roles of Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet. It’ll be interesting to see if White decides to keep this rumored cast or if he will go with different actors for the roles. Lionsgate is looking to put the film into production sometime early next year, so I’m sure we will hear a casting announcement soon.