When “Lars and the Real Girl” director Craig Gillespie was first tapped to direct the remake of ‘80s camp horror classic “Fright Night,” a collective WTF seemed to ring out from the film community at large. Of course, Gillespie also directed the studio comedy “Mr. Woodcock,” which has even less in common with ‘Lars,’ but word on the “Fright Night” remake has been generally favorable and clearly Lionsgate was impressed enough to offer Gillespie their highly anticipated adaptation of the literary/horror genre mash-up “Pride and Prejudice with Zombies.”
The “Pride’ adaptation has been on the table for a while now, having gone through directors David O. Russell and Mike White before landing with Gillespie. This time, however, it sounds like they’ve finally found a way to do the Seth Grahame-Smith retelling of the Jane Austen novel justice on screen. The Playlist spoke with Craig Gillespie, who confirmed ‘Zombies’ is moving forward and he hopes to get it rolling in 2012.
“I’m hoping to be shooting in the beginning of next year, so we’ll see,” Gillespie tells The Playlist. Gillespie couldn’t confirm cast yet at this point, but he did say that they have a script ready to go. “David O. Russell wrote a great script, but I actually just wrote a rewrite with [‘Fright Night’ screenwriter] Marti Noxon and we’re just going after cast.”
Gillespie says he liked what O. Russell did with the script and mentioned that he will likely share a credit on the adaptation, “[O. Russell with have a] screen credit, I think. He wrote the screenplay, which is great. There are certain things structurally that we changed, but tonally he’d done a great job with it.” A zombie movie with the wit and verve of Russell with Gillespie at the helm? Sounds very promising indeed. And while we wait for this one to arrive, we had to ask about another longtime project that Gillespie was never able to quite get moving.
Entitled “The Dallas Buyers Club,” the celebrated screenplay focuses on a Dallas electrician in the ‘80s who contracts AIDS and is given only months to live. He winds up smuggling experimental medications into the country for himself and others, ultimately adding six years to his own life and extending the lives of countless others. Ryan Gosling was slated to play the lead in Gillespie’s take but eventually they both had to move on. “I loved ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’” says Gillespie, “but the sad truth of it is we just couldn’t get it made in that climate with the economy as it was. We just couldn’t find the financing for it. It’s been around for 16 years. There’s been writers on it. It’s just one of those Hollywood projects that just seems to be cursed.”
Cursed or not that film got new life earlier this year when it was reported that “C.R.A.Z.Y.” and “The Young Victoria” director Jean-Marc Vallee would be taking on the film with Matthew McConaughey and Hilary Swank in the lead roles. But perhaps the bad mojo around the film hasn’t completely subsided as word has once again grown quiet.
But before Gillespie gets to zombies, he’ll unleash vampires with “Fright Night” arriving on Friday, August 19th.