Blake Lively Offered ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Lead Role [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 5th, 2013 at 2:17 pm,

It seems that virtually every popular young actress out there has been offered – or rumored to be up for – the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet in the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Regency period romance-meets-the-zombpocalypse novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Natalie Portman and Emma Stone both took a pass on the part, while established starlets like Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis – not to mention, increasingly-popular actresses such as Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) – were all either rumored as possibilities to portray Miss Bennet… or, likewise, reportedly said “no thanks,” when offered the role.

Twitch has it on good authority that Gossip Girl‘s Blake Lively has met with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies helmer Craig Gillespie, about headlining the film. Whether she looks likely to actually accept the female lead role – or pass on it as well – remains to be seen.

UPDATE: Variety‘s Justin Kroll has confirmed (via Twitter) that Lively has passed on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

The film’s inability to secure a marketable lead actress has delayed the start of production on Zombies – which Gillespie had originally planned to start principal photography on this past summer. Said delay contributed to rumors that the filmmaker had left the project, about a month ago.

However, the director remains onboard for the tongue-in-cheek genre mashup, working from a script penned by onetime Zombies helmer David O. Russell (who eventually left the project over a budget disagreement) – that Gillespie and his Fright Night scriber (Marti Noxon) have slightly retooled.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies may sound like the title of a cheap direct-to-DVD horror flick, but it’s being handled by some pretty solid creative talent. However, the innately ludicrous nature of the project is likely part of the reason why so many actresses have decided the film isn’t a good fit for them, so to speak.

One of Grahame-Smith’s other popular novels – the horror/historical revisionist piece, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – is also making the jump to the big screen, but did not encounter the pre-production delays that have plagued Zombies (pun not intended), prior to the start of filming. Not so shockingly, though, that movie never looked to bring A-list acting talent onboard. Instead, that production’s cast ended up being composed of either up-and-coming thespians or experienced character actors.

That’s all to say: Lively clearly plans to have a career beyond Gossip Girl, going by her well-regarded dramatic turn in Ben Affleck’s The Town last year; her involvement with the (critically and financially, lackluster) Green Lantern movie, this past summer; and starring in Oliver Stone’s Savages project next year. Whether the actress will be willing to tread into intentional camp territory with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – or stick to either serious roles or parts in potential franchise starters – remains to be seen.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is slated to (finally) begin production by early 2012. We will continue to keep you posted on the status of the project, in the meantime.

Source: Twitch

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  1. While she is incredibly hot and a decent actress i don’t think she could carry the whole movie herself. So i will see what happens.

  2. she might have been offered the role, but it wouldnt fit her style to accept… she wont

  3. … Will Smith should play the lead.

    • yes definately…im not joking

  4. blake lively isnt a very good actress, gossip girl isnt a good show, its just popular with girls, who seem to have a choke hold on the industry lately with the financial backing power they give to twilight and films like it which in turn corrupts the quality of other movies that are released because hey, teenage girls will watch anything. emma stone passed because she’s done the zombie thing already and has moved on to bigger things (spiderman) thats just naive of execs to think “that stone girl is hot right now, and she made bank in that last zombie flick, get her on the phone!”. same goes for portman, too big for this. i dont know why mia wasikiwsk passed on it though, its not like alice in wonderland (which was pretty aweful) skyrocketed her career. she’d prob be the best fit. Im not knocking the film, I’ll prob end up seeing it, i just hate the hollywood machine, vampires! flood the markert! walking deads a hit, zombies! flood the market!

    • Mia passed on it because she is actually talented and considered a very serious actress that will probably win an Oscar in the next 5 years. And yes she has been in other (Excellent) movies apart from Alice in Wonderland. You probably didn’t hear about them because they aren’t popcorn movies. The gum at the bottom of my shoes has more talent than Blake Lively. She should get down on her knees and thank whoever offered her this role (most likely Leo DiCarpio calling in a favor since she is blowing him at the moment). She was the weakest part of ‘The Town’, her new movie at TIFF was LAUGHED at by critics, she is going to play the slutty girlfriend of two guys in Oliver Stone’s next movie (not a stretch for her). Please, she NEEDS this.

      • What a mean, bracingly sexist opinion. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        • How is it mean when it is most likely true? Blake Lively cannot act, she ain’t even Jessica Alba or Megan Fox hot either. She’s completely overrated. I hope leo marries her asap so she stops trying to be an actress and goes away forever.

  5. She was the worst actress in The Town in my opinion. Annoying too.

    • Wasn’t a whole lot better in Green Latern either although she is nice to look at.

  6. Agreed with much that is said here. Lively was a “mad pointer” in The Town, but without the makeup, the kid, and the clothes, she would not have “made” that role at all. And yes, GL was partially bad because of her. Can someone please get Anna Paquin and some braces?

  7. In all fairness, they should pick an unknown to play the lead role. That’s how good talent is found. Having read the books, I have always envisioned Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth. Personally I think Ellen Page wouldn’t be bad either.

  8. Well I wouldn’t worry about the acting. It is “Pride and Prejudice and ZOMBIES”! It’s bound to be a little trashy anyway. Lets not mistake this for a real Jane Austen adaptation kids. -_^

  9. Dude about the comment made by ” Serious ” I’m a guy and that sounds really stupid and tasteless what you commented. I can accept your opinion of Blake being a bad actress or simply eye candy. But come on have dignity and not reduce yourself to a low life. That’s why I like this site we can disagree but keep it clean and act (somewhat) mature. If I wanted to read tasteless comments I wil go to ign message forums full to low life sexist pervs like you. Vic get rid of this Dbag…that’s someones daughter your insulting.

  10. You know who’d be awesome for the Elizabeth role in this movie? The girl who was in Jane Austen Fight Club (that YouTube viral video). She’s bad ass, unknown, funny, and can fight. That video had more than a million views before YouTube took it down, and now it lives on Funny or Die.

  11. They are totally missing the boat with the casting of the lead for this movie. A conventional, leggy heroine isn’t going to cut it. Call up Ellen Page. Seriously.

    • Ellen Page was who I thought of IMMEDIATELY. We are thinking with the same genius-brain.

  12. Why not Ksenia Solo from Showcase’s Lost Girl series?

    She can take a role and make it her own (as she did with the Kenzie character) and she steals the scenes in whatever show she’s in. I’m sure she’d have NO problems with the kick-ass part of the film either. She would be a lot cheaper than Blake. Either way someone’s going to have to fake an english accent.

  13. ELLEN PAGE!!! helloooooo!