Director David O. Russell Explains His Exit from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
01.28.11 by Ryan
Shortly after an adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was announced at the end of 2009, David O. Russell was reported as the movie's writer and director. At the time, actress Natalie Portman was attached to produce and star in the lead role of Elizabeth Bennett, but once Russell dropped out of the project almost a year later, Portman also quit, leaving the project empty, save Russell's script.
Months later, Russell decided to explain his decision to abandon the movie to Wall Street Journal. Surprise, it's budgetary.
I thought $40 to $50 million was a bargain price to make a Sherlock Holmes-style period action romance that happened to have zombies in it. The studio budgeted it as a genre zombie movie and gave me $25 to $28 million. I was like, that's not cool. We have crazy big action sequences in it. It's very commercial; we have a major romance. It's a period film. And we're doing it on the budget that we did The Fighter? It made no sense to me. That I found was frustrating.
Mike White was hired to replace Russell in November but dropped out more than a week ago. White cited a scheduling issue with a HBO project as the reason for his departure.