Few would have an issue with Anne Hathaway donning a skin-tight spacesuit for the Barbarella remake, but that pic is reportedly far from becoming a reality. The actress is more likely to first put on a corset, pick up an axe, and get her zombie killing game on for the big screen adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Hathaway is the latest actress rumored as a possibility to play Elizabeth Bennet in director Mike White’s adaptation of the Regency era comedy of manners/horror mashup, which could also feature Scotsman James McAvoy as the handsome but haughty Mr. Darcy.
Most cinematic adaptations of Jane Austen’s revered source material, Pride and Prejudice, have tended to emphasize the romantic elements of the story and play down the novel’s overall satirical tone. Seth Grahame-Smith decided to take a different approach with his book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and placed the classic tale within the context of a zombpocalypse – as a result, readers got to enjoy Miss Bennet and Mr. Dracy trading barbs and falling in love whilst simultaneously decapitating the undead. Different, if nothing else.
Bradley Cooper and Scarlett Johansson were the previous big names rumored to be in contention for the lead roles in P&P&Z, but Pajiba now claims that Hathaway and McAvoy have joined the race as well. That’s all the more interesting since the two previously starred together as lovers in Becoming Jane, a film that purported to shed light on Jane Austen’s real-life romance with Irishman Tom Lefroy and its effect on her career as a writer.
This rumor also indicates that White may have something far different in mind than original P&P&Z helmer David O. Russell did, back when he was still onboard and Natalie Portman was attached to star. Hathaway and McAvoy arguably look quite natural when decked out in 19th-century attire and (as Uncharted fans are learning) conventionality is not something Russell is generally known for.
White’s sole directorial effort was the dark comedy Year of the Dog, so it seems likely that he’ll deliver a P&P&Z adaptation that’s fairly tongue in cheek but also serves up a healthy dose of R-Rated, zombie-style violence. Then again, he could also take a leaf out of Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens book and deliver an essentially straight-faced movie that mashes elements of the period drama genre with the zombie horror genre.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is expected to begin production in the first half of 2011, so stay tuned…