Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Gets a New Director?
11.06.10 by Ryan
The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's bestselling mashup novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies took a step backward when it was announced that writer-director David O. Russell and star Natalie Portman both exited the project. Russell reportedly left behind a terrific script, however, as well as the possibility of Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper joining as the leads, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. With the project looking promising, several directors started lining up for the job last month. Weeks later, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies may finally have a director (again).
According to Deadline, Lionsgate has offered the director's chair to Mike White, screenwriter of comedies that include School of Rock and Orange County. White made his directorial debut with 2007's Year of the Dog.
While he has no horror movie experience per se, zombies fans can be comforted by White's association with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, who began his career as an assistant to director Miguel Arteta in the White-scripted movies Chuck and Buck and The Good Girl. White appeared briefly in Zombieland, and one of Fleischer's next directorial projects is the comedy Babe in the Woods, which White scripted.
Should White refuse the job, the LA Times reports that director Neil Marshall (Centurion) would be next in line. According to the report, Marshall presented his take on the story to the studio and was still "in the mix" prior to the Deadline report. The LA Times report goes on to say that White and Marshall became serious contenders for the job after directors Matt Reeves (Let Me In) and Mike Newell (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) both passed on the project. The report also states that Johansson is likely out as Elizabeth Bennett, but that Cooper may still appear in the movie if he approves of the director.