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David O. Russell’s Script Will Still Be Used For ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’

David O. Russell's Script Will Still Be Used For 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies'

Compares Upcoming Film To Tim Burton’s ‘Sleepy Hollow

With Craig Gillespie now locked down for “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” everyone can now focus on the actual film rather than the endless process of finding a director. And it didn’t take long for the first interview about the film to hit as Gillespie recently sat down with EW to talk about the upcoming film and while David O. Russell — once attached to direct, though he left over budgetary concerns — has long since left the project, his imprint will still be felt as the script he penned will still be used for the movie.

“…we have a really great script that we’re just going to do a polish on and then get going, really…. David Russell wrote the script off the book, and it has such a great mix of humor and horror,” he said. “I just love being able to juggle those two aspects. The humor is inherent in the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ side, but taking that and accenting it with zombies is just a brilliant and fun idea. And there are such strong female characters, which is nice to have. It’s a great clash.”

He also added, “I read the first 30 pages and said, ‘I want to do this.’ It’s just such a great combination between classic literature — Jane Austen, and meshing it with zombies. The challenge of meshing those two genres is really exciting to me.”

The film is based on the best-selling book by Seth Grahame-Smith, which introduces the undead into the Jane Austen classic romance. It’s a tricky balance between the mannered world of the classic book and the decidedly un-mannered horror genre, but Gillespie points to a film in the Tim Burton catalog as a comparison point for the direction he’ll take “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

“I love the propriety of the Jane Austen novels, which you want to keep. The language, what’s appropriate and not appropriate. The customs, and the hierarchy. They had very witty dialogue with a lot of undertones to it. You need the juxtoposition,” he said. “There’s going to be a strong gothic undertone, which ties the two genres together. It’s more in the world of ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ where it’s somewhat stylized. We have that creative license because of the zombies. I’ll certainly do my homework and explore genres to see what might work, but it’s going to have that strong gothic sense, I think.”

So, a genre-mashup with gothic undertones penned by David O. Russell and directed by Craig Gillespie? Yeah, we’re definitely interested. No word yet on casting — though kudos to EW for trying to get something out of Gillespie — and no release dates just yet. But with the director now firmly aboard we’re guessing this one will move quickly with a 2012 date likely in the works.

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