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.
The humor is inherent in the Pride and Prejudice side, but taking that and accenting it with zombies is just a brilliant and fun idea. And there are such strong female characters, which is nice to have. It’s a great clash.
Speaking to EW, Gillespie says that while he likes the humor and the horror, he’s invested in making the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy the heart of the story:
There’s a lot of action in this. There are a lot of big set pieces in this film, which is exciting. Basically, as I said to the studio, at the core it’s a love story between Elizabeth and Darcy. If that’s not working, and we’re not rooting for those two get together through all this craziness, the movie is not going to work. That’s key to me, to have this great emotional story going on, and all this craziness.
As for the visual style of the film, Gillespie says:
It’s more in the world of [Tim Burton's 1999] Sleepy Hollow, where it’s somewhat stylized. We have that creative license because of the zombies. I’ll certainly do my homework and explore genres to see what might work, but it’s going to have that strong gothic sense, I think.
Gillespie’s new film, a 3D remake of Fright Night, opens August 19th.