The last time Emma Stone battled the flesh-eating undead onscreen (see: Zombieland), she was known as the charming red-head who'd made an impression with her brief roles in comedies like Superbad and The House Bunny.
Now, the Easy A starlet (who is actually a natural blonde) is up to do battle with the living dead once again, in another darkly comical picture: director Craig Gillespie's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Variety says that Stone has been offered the chance to portray literary icon Elizabeth Bennet in the Zombies adaptation. That would make her the latest popular actress said to be up for the role, following one-time candidate Natalie Portman (who is still onboard as a producer) and rumored starlets like Scarlett Johansson and Anne Hathaway.
Zombies would be the latest tentpole project to feature Stone, following in the wake of next summer's The Amazing Spider-Man - which features the actress with her natural blonde locks as classic Peter Parker love interest, Gwen Stacy. Stone will also be showing up briefly this summer in comedies like Friends with Benefits and Crazy, Stupid, Love, and is headlining the pop literary adaptation, The Help.
Assuming Stone accepts the offer to portray Miss Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the next big move for the horror/romantic literature mashup would be to fill the role of the infamously stuck-up Mr. Darcy in the film. James McAvoy and Bradley Cooper have been rumored as potentials to play the part before - though the latter's increasingly busy schedule (he's attached to star in The Crow reboot and has been circling Paradise Lost recently) seems to discount him as a serious contender.
UPDATE: Deadline is reporting that Stone has passed on the lead female role in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Expect to hear about another noteworthy actress being approached to play Miss Bennet in the near future.
One unexpected tidbit mentioned in Variety's report is that original Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author Seth Grahame-Smith is reportedly penning the screenplay adaptation with Marti Noxon (the scribe behind Gillespie's upcoming Fright Night remake). Gillespie previously indicated that he would be working from a slightly revised version of David O. Russell's script draft, which he described as having "a great mix of humor and horror" and loads of action-packed set pieces to boot. In fact, Russell's screenplay was said to be the big thing that kept attracting other filmmakers to the adaptation, after the Fighter helmer left the project last year.
It's a shame then to hear that Russell's Zombie screenplay has seemingly been abandoned, especially since it undoubtedly would feature much of his trademark darkly quirky and off-beat humor. On the other hand, Smith's work as a screenwriter has seemingly impressed studio heads up to now - seeing as that he was also trusted with the task of scripting Tim Burton's upcoming Dark Shadows movie and the adaption of his Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter novel for director Timur Bekmambetov. Plus, Noxon definitely has a knack for mixing horror violence with comedy and romance (see: her work on the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series).
Depending on how well-received Gillespie and Noxon's Fright Night remake is when it hits theaters this summer, anticipation for their Zombies project could either be significantly heightened or lessened. If the horror-comedy goes down well - and Stone does sign on as Miss Bennet - then there's definitely potential for the oddball project to become a very popular title.
We'll keep you posted on the status of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as more information is released.
Update Source: Deadline