Has Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Lost Its Third Director?
08.30.11 by Ryan
Last week, director Craig Gillespie (Fright Night) recently admitted that his next directorial project, the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 best-selling mash-up novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, would stay "incredibly true" to the book's original author Jane Austen, who wrote the book in 1813 without the presence of the undead. What Gillespie neglected to mention was that he was also planing to leave the project.
Earlier today, Twitch released a report that claimed that Gillespie, the third director to tackle the blending of classic literature and zombies, had decided to leave the movie. Struggles to find the right leading lady have reportedly left the Australian director frustrated. While Lionsgate has denied the report, Twitch is standing by their source and are promising to "look into it further."
Losing Gillespie would be a terrible blow to Lionsgate, who have scheduled a January production start date, but it wouldn't be unusual for the movie, which has had a long history of losing directors. Both David O. Russell (The Fighter) and Mike White (Year of the Dog) have taken turns as director of the project, before Gillespie was hired in April. Russell wrote the initial script, with Gillespie bringing in his Fright Night screenwriter Marti Noxon to perform a rewrite.
Casting has also been problematic. When the adaptation was first announced in 2009, Natalie Portman was going to produce the movie and star as Elizabeth Bennett, but, after Russell left the movie last October, Portman immediately followed. Once Gillespie boarded the project, he reportedly offerred the role of Bennett to Emma Stone, who quickly turned it down. According to Twitch, Mila Kunis, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde were all either considered or offered the role, but nothing has been settled.
It does seem that the role of Mr. Darcy has been cast. The report says that Dominic Cooper has been cast in the role. Cooper was also cast in the adaptation of Grahame-Smith's other book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Reps for Lionsgate confirmed to ShockTillYouDrop that Gillespie is still attached to the movie, so there's no reason to panic. And perhaps, eventually, Twitch's source will explain why they thought he left in the first place.