Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the long-planned classical mashup film has been revived and has named its star and director. According to Variety, actress Lily Collins is in negotiations to star as the film's main gentrified zombie ganker, Elizabeth Bennet with Charlie St. Cloud helmer, Burr Steers set to occupy the director's chair.
The project, a long-gestating live-action adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 genre-bending novel, has seen its prospects roller-coaster and at one point seemingly procured Natalie Portman to star and David O. Russell to direct. However, difficulties with the script and translating the tone of the book to the big screen left the project in developmental purgatory, eventually forcing Portman and Russell to exit the project due to scheduling conflicts. (Although Portman remains a producer on the project through Handsomecharlie Films.) Now, it will be headlined by a starlet who, despite being the daughter of rock/pop icon, Phil Collins, has carved out quite an acting career and will star in this summer's Twilight-esque horror drama, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
The film, much like the book, takes Jane Austen's esteemed (and thankfully public domain) 1813 novel into an alternate universe where the lovely Ms. Bennet deals with the societal woes of becoming a proper lady and fielding potential gentleman suitors in early 19th century England ...which is also working through a pesky zombie apocalypse. Now, this film project, which was once written-off as being as dead as the head-hacked shamblings it will surely feature, rises again to attempt mashup madness that could potentially appeal to fans of Austen novels AND zombie-philes. (In other words, the perfect date movie.)
However, the film will have to work through a stigma attached to projects of its ilk, especially after the underwhelming box-office performance last year of a similar experiment in the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The primary criticism of that film was that it failed to capitalize on its entertainingly absurd nuances, instead coming across as a generic and forgettable action/horror film. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be well-advised to not fall into that trap when it hits theaters at a yet-to-be-determined time.