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Movie Casting News: Lily Collins out, Lily James in to star as Elizabeth Bennet with Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!

UPDATED 8/12/14‘Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston Joins ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’ via Deadline

Jack Huston just closed his deal to play Wickham in the Burr Steers-directed adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride And Prejudice And ZombiesRead full article here.

Here's something unexpected...since there was no news about this for a long time after the casting announcement last year of Lily Collins starring in the lead as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice And Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith's film adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice, the project looked to be DOA and a no go. It looks like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has resurrected and is back on (after so many false starts) and it's happening for real this time with a few new casting, new director, and filming news. According to Deadline, Lily Collins is out while Downton Abbey's Lily James (aka Lady Rose) is in! She will be playing the lead role Elizabeth Bennet. Sam Riley has been cast as Mr. Darcy and Bella Heathcote will play as Elizabeth's sister (no mention of which sister, but I'm guessing it's Jane Bennet). Filming starts next month and it's skated for a worldwide 2015 theater release.

Read more info. via Deadline:

Undead: ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’ Resurrected With Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote To Star
EXCLUSIVE: The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride And Prejudice And Zombies has been seeking big-screen life ever since the smash mash-up novel was published in 2009 — but through a series of director changes, it sometimes looked like it had one foot in the grave. No more. The movie version now is a reality with principal photography slated to start in September and Cross Creek Pictures acquiring domestic rights with a commitment for a wide U.S. release. Hot British actors Lily James and Sam Riley and Australia’s Bella Heathcote have been set to lead the film that mixes the 1813 Jane Austen classic Pride And Prejudice with a legion of bloodthirsty undead. 

Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down, Charlie St Cloud) is directing from a screenplay by David O. Russell and Steers. Brian Oliver, Allison Shearmur, Sean McKittrick, Natalie Portman, Annette Savitch, Tyler Thompson and Marc Butan will produce on behalf of Sierra/Affinity, which also is handling foreign sales. (The project formerly was at Panorama but moved over with Butan when he joined Sierra/Affinity in January.) CAA packaged the Cross Creek deal.
Portman, who along with much of the team has been aboard as producer from the outset, at one point was going to star and later dropped out. Lily Collins was floated for the lead last year at around the time Steers came on. The package is now firmed up with James playing Elizabeth Bennett, Riley as Mr Darcy and Heathcote as Elizabeth’s sister. Jack Huston is also in talks. The novel plays with the relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England who are faced with the challenge of an army of the “sorry stricken” aka zombies.

James, best known for her role as Lady Rose on Downton Abbey, next will be seen in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella (which Shearmur is also producing), and also is circling the Weinstein Co/BBC miniseries War And Peace. She’s repped by UTA and the UK’s Tavistock Wood Management. Riley was in the Disney smash Maleficent and is in The Weinstein Co’s upcoming Suite Française; he’s repped by WME and Tavistock Wood. Heathcote’s credits include Dark Shadows and In Time; she’s repped by WME, More Medavoy Management, Oz’s JM Agency and Sloane Offer.



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