After Natalie Portman left the project (even though she's no longer attached to star as the lead character Elizabeth Bennet, she's still producing this film through her handsomecharlie productions with Lionsgate distributing it) along with two directors (David O'Russell and Mike White, who was previously announced to direct this this film as I've posted here last November 2010), Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie is now officially set to Direct 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' (via Deadline)...
"We are so excited to have Craig Gillespie on board this film," said Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate president of Motion Picture Production. "His sensibility spans from genre-bending horror to elegant character-driven comedy, which is perfect for this movie."Also, Gillespie recently was interviewed by EW to talk about the upcoming film. Here's part of his interview...
'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' director chews over Jane Austen mash-up -- EXCLUSIVE
Jane Austen purists, eat your heart out. It’s going to happen to some of your favorite characters anyway.
Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie finalized his deal yesterday to helm the big-screen version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling fusion of Austen’s 19th century comedy of manners and romance with a nightmarish horde of flesh-eating undead. Gillespie recently wrapped a remake of the ’80s cult classic Fright Night, with Colin Farrell as the unfriendly neighborhood vampire, and plans to begin shooting P+P+Z at the end of summer.
Gillespie spoke exclusively to EW about how he plans to make zombies seem natural in the early-1800′s British countryside, and whether Austen film alums Colin Firth and Keira Knightley could make cameos…
What’s the state of the project? David O. Russell was attached to direct. Then he dropped out in a budget dispute, and Mike White took over directing duties, but then left to focus on an HBO series. Do you start from scratch?
No, 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. 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.
What sold you on this mash-up between pre-Victorian British literature and flesh-eating horror?
I was aware the project was around, but at the time it wasn’t available. Then it became available. I was still finishing up Fright Night, but in the meantime I called my agent and said, “I want to see that script.” He said, “I’m not sure we’d be able to figure out the timing.” But 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.
Who do you have in mind for the roles of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy?
Casting is trying to find the people who can walk that line. It’s too early now. [Laughs] Nice try though.
Any chance you can recruit actors who have appeared in previous versions of Pride and Prejudice to, say, do a couple cameos as flesh-eaters? Like, could we see a zombie Colin Firth or a zombie Keira Knightley?
I hadn’t thought about that, but you’re definitely giving me food for thought.
Read full EW interview here!