pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-1

Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was once such a hot property, bidding for the movie rights began before the book even hit shelves. But it’s spent the past five years in development hell, shuffling from one high-profile movie star and director to another.

The last we heard of it was in May, when the David O. Russell-penned script landed with Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) and Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones). Progress has been pretty quiet since then, but the project is apparently far from dead — in fact, it’s nearing the start of production. More details after the jump.

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The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

The combined powers of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games have opened the floodgates for a tidal wave of sci-fi / fantasy YA adaptations — it seems like a new potential franchise goes into development every week. As with any genre, though, not all of these films are created equal.

The best ones capture the imaginations of young and old alike, while the worst are forgotten almost before they even open. Time will tell where on the spectrum The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones will fall, but feel free to make an educated guess based on the new trailer after the jump.

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Lily Colins / Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I suppose it’s appropriate that a movie about the undead would itself have trouble staying dead. After years of failed attempts by Lionsgate to bring Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Jane Austen spoof Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to the big screen, the project suddenly sprang back to life this spring when a new backer signed on. And now those folks have managed to get a new star and director on board as well.

Burr Steers has just signed on to direct Lily Collins in the film, which is now going by the title Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. Because that first “and” was the problem all along, I guess. Hit the jump for more details.

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The-Mortal-Instruments-City-of-Bones

Nothing can stop the wave of YA adaptations coming to movie theaters in the next year or two — not even the relative disinterest in the movies. Beautiful Creatures and The Host didn’t really hit so far this year, but there are more to come. Earlier today we saw the trailer for the new Percy Jackson film, and now here’s the first full trailer for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

The film features Lily Collins as a young woman who learns that there is a shadow conflict just out of sight, with half-angel warriors battling demons right before the unseeing eyes of humanity. With her own eyes open to the conflict, Collins’ character is quickly drawn in. This trailer shows far more of the newly-done effects than did the teaser, and it also makes the film look rather like a revamped Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Have a look below.

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If Girls seems to chalk up Hannah’s bad ideas to her relative youth, the first trailer for Writers suggests such misguidedness may simply be an occupational hazard. In the directorial debut by Josh Boone, Greg Kinnear plays an acclaimed novelist who deals with his divorce by alternately spying on his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly) and screwing his married neighbor (Kristen Bell).

His kids Samantha (Lily Collins) and Rusty (Nat Wolff) are both budding writers as well, though they take totally opposite approaches to life. She racks up “experiences” in the form of notches on her bedpost, while he pines after a pretty high school classmate (Liana Liberato) with a mean boyfriend. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ Trailer

The first adaptation of one of Cassandra Clare‘s books in The Mortal Instuments cycle is going to hit screens late next summer, and the first trailer is being released just in time for the last Twilight audience to see it.

The film stars Lily Collins as Clary Fray, who learns that she is in fact a descendant of half-Angel warriors who protect humanity from darkness. She’s drawn towards one such warrior, Jace Wayland (Jamie Cambell Bower) with help from Hodge Starkweather (Jared Harris) after her mother (Lena Headey) disappears.

I. Marlene King (Pretty Little Liars) and Jessica Postigo (Tarzan 3D) scripted, and Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks, The Karate Kid) ended up directing. Check out the footage below. Read More »

I don’t like to talk about movie marketing when reviewing a film. The trailer isn’t the movie. Each has completely different aims, and judging a movie based on a trailer is the wrong road to take. But in the case of Tarsem’s slightly modern, very kid-oriented Snow White story Mirror Mirror, the trailers are worth mentioning. They sold something like a Lifetime movie — a stilted, ungainly romance. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to see that the film proper is laced with the imaginative visuals that one expects from Tarsem, but also flashes of cleverness in action scenes and modern, media-aware dialogue that should be glaringly anachronistic, but works more often than not. Mirror Mirror is clearly a film for kids, but it aspires to please adults as well, and features just enough zing to do so, at least occasionally. Read More »

Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) is putting together a new film based on Stephen King‘s debut novel Carrie. Brian De Palma’s movie starring Sissy Spacek and John Travolta remains one of De Palma’s most entertaining films, packed as it is with over-the-top characterization and De Palma’s trademark love of split-screen imagery. So my first reaction to hearing about another new Carrie (this isn’t the first remake of the story) is ‘why?’ But having a female director is one way to make this seem like a worthwhile endeavor.

Now we’ve got the first indications of potential casting, as info has emerged about two possible choices to play the adolescent telekinetic Carrie White: 15-year-old Chloë Moretz (Kick-Ass, Dark Shadows) and 24-year-old Haley Bennett (Terrence Malick’s film formerly called Lawless).

Update: Deadline says that Moretz has been offered the role, and that after testing last weekend, she more or less got the job immediately.

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