There have been few movies under development in Hollywood with as many lives as “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.” Over the past few years, directors David O. Russell, Mike White and Craig Gillespie tried and failed to get the movie going for a variety of reasons. Russell complained he was being lowballed on budget, while it seemed no executives could pull the trigger regardless of who was helming. And even when, over a year ago, Lily James came on board to lead the movie as Elizabeth Bennett, there was still radio silence and zero movement….until today.
Deadline reports that it’s all systems go on the project, with Sam Riley (as Mr. Darcy), Bella Heathcote (as Elizabeth’s sister) and Jack Huston joining the movie, which will begin production next month. No, really. The adaptation of the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith will zombie-fy the Jane Austen classic romance, and it has a script co-credited to Russell and Burr Steers (“Igby Goes Down,” “17 Again“), with the latter now in the director’s chair. So, what could the tone of a period zombie movie possibly be like? Well, at one point Russell compared it to “Sleepy Hollow,” and we’d wager that’s probably still the general vibe if his script is still being used in some capacity.
Clearly, the long wait has hurt ‘PP&Z’ which now goes in front of cameras when the zombie craze couldn’t be hotter. And it certainly has the kind of premise that could make it stand out from the crowd. But let’s hope the long wait hasn’t taken any bite out of the project.