The film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s classic literature/horror mashup, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, was seemingly left for dead (*rimshot*) in the wake of director David O. Russell’s departure.
Mike Newell (Prince of Persia) is reportedly an early frontrunner to helm the new take on author Jane Austen’s classic 19th century comedy of manners, which should soon join Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as the second adaptation of Grahame-Smith’s “revisionist” literature to be officially greenlit. Neil Marshall (Centurion) is also “officially” in the running to direct P&P&Z as well.
P&P&Z mixes romance, humor, and (obviously) zombie violence, so whoever is selected to helm the film adaptation will have to be adept at both comedy and action. Newell has a couple of big-budget actioners under his belt now and got his directorial career going with the British rom-com Four Weddings and a Funeral, while “Splat Pack” member Marshall often mixes camp and graphic horror violence in his films – so both seem like reasonable choices for the job.
Prior to his departure from P&P&Z, Russell had reportedly lined up Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper – who appeared together onscreen before in the ensemble rom-com He’s Just Not That Into You – to play Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy, in turn. Both Johansson and Cooper are in-demand talents who are already onboard for a handful of other projects, but should still be considered definite possibilities for the time being.
Cooper – whose screen persona is generally kind of goofy – seems like an odd choice for the role of the more serious and morose Mr. Darcy, but, then again, P&P&Z will be very much a tongue-in-cheek affair for all parties. Both Cooperf and Johansson are easy on the eyes and showed off their action chops this summer in The A-Team and Iron Man 2, respectively, so they seem like decent matches for the material as well.
Update: BD Horror News is reporting that offers have gone out to Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (who plays the White Which in the Chronicles of Narnia movies) to star in P&P&Z.
Who do you want to see bring Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (dare we say it) to life?