Small update from earlier in the week: the Natalie Portman-produced “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is obviously a hot project and multiple directors have been circling it after David O. Russell bailed on it for “Drake’s Fortune” (and the 300 other projects he’s attached himself to), including Mike Newell (”Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time”), Neil Marshall (“Centurion”), David Slade (“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse“), and Jonathan Demme.
Earlier this week we heard that Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield“), who was in the mix initially, had dropped out and Mike White (”Year Of The Dog,” the writer of “School Of Rock” and “Chuck & Buck“) had emerged as the main directing contender. Now it looks like he’s been offered the job.
Deadline reports that Lionsgate has made a formal offer to White (which sounds a lot more concrete than some of the lame offer stories that came out this week that you know are likely to not turn out).
Aside from writing “School of Rock,” White also penned “Orange County” with Jack Black and as we mentioned earlier in the week his lone directorial outing, “The Year Of The Dog,” kinda came and went. So we were a bit surprised to hear he had emerged as the frontrunner, but perhaps he is the man to nail the picture’s myriad tones which are supposed to be comedic on top of having dramatic, action and horror elements. He’ll need a good second unit, that’s for sure, because he’s very untested in the world of action and zombies running around chomping into people. We suppose anyone can learn and we do like White as an actor and writer, so why not?
Lots of names have been tossed around in connection with this project including Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska, Tilda Swinton and Catherine O’Hara, and that’s just so far. White also has “Babe In The Woods” in the works, a script he wrote about a female freshman from the Midwest who arrives at Yale and becomes a target of the New Jersey mob that was acquired by Columbia late last summer and is being developed and directed by “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer.