It is a truth universally acknowledged that a population so in love with a classic will hunger for the story in any form they can get. It is with this in mind that Hollywood refuses to drop Seth Grahame-Smith’s Jane Austen/zombie literary mash-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, from its death grip.w
Not long after the parody novel debuted to much fanfare in 2009, talk of a filmic version has been around. While there has not been much movement on that front, things appear to be changing as Variety is reporting that it’s back on and has a new star and director attached. According to the trade paper, Mirror Mirror star Lily Collins is to step up as the martial arts devotee, zombie hunter Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet with Burr Steers (17 Again) directing.
However, I wouldn’t be running out and looking to book tickets any time soon as these are just the latest in a long line of actresses and directors that have been attached to the project. Natalie Portman (Black Swan) was initially named as the star when the project as first floated in 2009 but subsequently left in 2010. Since then other names that have been attached to the film is basically a who’s who list of today’s hot young Hollywood: Emma Stone, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson.
David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) was first set to adapt the novel as well as direct. However, he quit in 2010 following budgetary issues with studio, Lionsgate. Mike White (School of Rock) was next in line but he had to leave due to scheduling conflicts with his HBO show, Enlightened. Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) followed but quickly exited apparently due to differences with the studio on who to cast as Lizzie. And since the departure of Russell there appears to be no script or screenwriter.
Whether the latest news will breath new life into this dead on arrival project is to be seen. Luckily for fans of Lizzie and Darcy, there’s already quite a few excellent adaptations of this classic for our viewing pleasure while we patiently wait.