pride and prejudice and zombies mr darcy

The big-screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is still shuffling along somehow. The latest word is that Lily James has replaced Lily Collins in the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet, while Sam Riley will play Mr. Darcy.

Bella Heathcote and Jack Huston are also expected to join. As we reported back in February, Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) is directing. Hit the jump for the latest details on the parody project that just won’t die.

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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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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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Between 2009 and 2011, LionsGate was trying to assemble a film based on Seth Grahame-Smith‘s breakout novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The text took Jane Austin’s original novel — which is in the public domain — and added zombies, just as the title suggests.

Three directors (David O. Russell then Mike White and then Craig Gillespie) have all flirted with the film and ultimately walked away. Several of Hollywood’s most popular young actresses have been linked to or courted for the film, and all have passed, which likely contributed to the ever-shifting directorial choice. David O. Russell wrote a script early on in the process that has remained linked to the project, and now a new financier has backed the project, and will again work from Russell’s script.  Read More »

Six months after he boarded the project, Craig Gillespie has become the latest director to drop the Seth Grahame-Smith adaptation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The announcement comes two months after he publicly assured everyone he remained very much a part of the picture, and a little less than a month after Blake Lively added her list to the long, long list of actresses who’ve passed on the lead role. It’s back to the drawing board, again, apparently. Wonderful. More details after the jump.

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Blake Lively has just joined the A-list ranks of Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, and Natalie Portman as the latest actress to turn down the opportunity to star in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Craig Gillespie‘s beleaguered adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Jane Austen spoof. Lively’s rejection comes as yet another setback for the project, which has already suffered numerous stops and starts throughout the development process. Are we ever going to see this film get off the ground? More details after the jump.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has had just about every hot young starlet attached at some point or other, and Blake Lively is one of those actresses whose name seems to pop up any time anyone in Hollywood is casting for a female lead. It was bound to happen sooner or later that their paths would cross. And indeed, a new rumor has started making the rounds that Lively has been offered the lead role of Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which which will be directed by Craig Gillespie. More details after the jump.

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Update: To eliminate any possibility of confusion, be aware this reported director change has been thoroughly denied by Lionsgate. Craig Gillespie, the studio says, remains very much a part of P&P&Z. Original article follows for posterity. (via STYD and contact from Lionsgate reps.)

Oh, no, not this again. Lionsgate has had a terrifically difficult time getting a film version of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies off the ground. The film has gone through multiple directors and screenwriters, with David O. Russell penning a script and once planning to direct. He left; Mike White was hired to direct in his stead, then dropped out. Eventually Craig Gillespie (Lars & the Real Girl, Fright Night) was hired to direct, with Fright Night writer Marti Noxon coming on to rewrite the script.

Now Gillespie has reportedly bailed, too, leaving the project at square one yet again.

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