When we reported on the impending Beetlejuice reboot last month, the very first comment on our post was “No Keaton=no movie.” Apparently, writers Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg are of the same mind as our dear readers. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the two revealed some of the conditions of their making the film. Here’s the relevant quote:

When Warner Bros. came to us about it, we said the only way we’d do it if we got Tim [Burton’s] blessing and involvement, and we got that, and the star of the movie has to be Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, and it’s a true continuation 26 years later. Not just throwing him in as a cameo going, “Hey, it’s me. I endorse this movie.” We’re not there yet [with Keaton] because we don’t have a film to present to him.

I’m still not really sold on the idea of this reboot, but if it has to happen I’d rather it happen with Keaton on board — I can’t imagine anyone else stepping into those shoes. It’s worth noting here that during last year’s press junket for Toy Story 3, Keaton told reporters he’d return “in a heartbeat” if a sequel happens.

The writers also emphasized that the new film will not be a remake, but a reboot, as previously reported. “People have been very angry about [the idea of a remake],” noted Katzenberg.

After the jump, Zach Galifianakis offers a tiny update on The Hangover Part III and tragedy hits the set of The Expendables 2.

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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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The first images we saw from Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows were cause for concern: paparazzi photos of Johnny Depp in extreme whiteface and a more than slightly Michael Jackson-inspired getup. Warner Bros. countered with an official still showing the entire cast, and that mollified fans (somewhat) who had become concerned about the film’s direction.

Now there are two new snaps, and one features Depp in pretty full vampiric effect, with blood all over his clawed hand. He’s even channeling an old-school Nosferatu sort of vibe, which might help convince rubberneckers that this is a movie, not a trainwreck. Read More »

Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, has just made a deal with Warner Bros. He and his KatzSmith partner David Katzenberg have a two-year first-look deal with WB, and the project they plan to launch out of the gate is reportedly a sequel to the 1988 Tim Burton film Beetlejuice. Say what? Read More »

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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UPDATE: I’ve added to, retitled and bumped this story from a couple days back, as Deadline reports that Emma Stone has turned down the offer to star in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. A shame, as she would have been great in the role, but hardly a surprise given that it wasn’t so long ago that she made Zombieland. There may be other considerations that played into the decision, but the end result is all that matters at the moment. Original article follows after the jump. Read More »

After weeks of back and forth, Craig Gillespie was finally announced yesterday as the new — and hopefully final — director of the Lionsgate film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The movie has had a long and public development path, with Natalie Portman producing and originally starring in the film based on Seth Grahame-Smith‘s novel and David O. Russell writing the script and directing. Mr. Russell left a while back, Natalie Portman bowed out of the cast, and Mike White was hired to direct, then also left.

So Craig Gillespie is firmly in the director’s chair, but we’ve wondered about the fate of the David O. Russell script, which was once said to be the thing that gave the project a lot of momentum. The film’s new director says that script is still in play, and the film will shoot at the end of the summer. Read More »

When a film needs to blend period costume drama, romance, zombie horror and humor, a director who can delicately balance those tones is crucial. That must be why Lionsgate was so ultra careful when selecting someone to adapt Seth Grahame-Smith‘s novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which takes the classic Jane Austen tale and infuses it with zombies. Mike White (Chuck and Buck, School of Rock) has previously been locked and loaded to direct the film, but dropped out several months ago. Since then, speculation has run rampant over who would jump into the director’s chair.

Though several names names were floated, including the book’s original author, Craig Gillespie, who directed Lars and the Real Girl and the upcoming Fright Night remake, has just officially signed on. Read more after the break. Read More »