Blake Lively is the latest actress to pass on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
I'm not normally one for posting news when an actor passes on a project (that happens far too often for that to be news) but in the case of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, it brings up a larger issue than Actress A saying, "no thanks."
According to Variety's Justin Kroll, Blake Lively is the latest actress to pass on an offer to star in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES for Lionsgate. She joins a fraternity of actresses that include Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, Rooney Mara and Mia Wasikowska who have turned down the film over its tumultuous two-year development process.
In addition to its struggles finding a lead actress, the film has also gone through a string of directors including David O. Russell, Mike Newell and Mike White before finding current director Craig Gillespie (who himself has been the subject of rumors regarding his departure from the film).
So the question begs to be asked: is PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES facing the serious possibility of being axed? With so many people - both in-front of and behind the camera - passing on the film, is it possible that Lionsgate will put production on hold to spend some more time on the script? The genre-mashing that COWBOYS & ALIENS started may have gotten P&P&Z picked up by Lionsgate but the poor performance of COWBOYS may have talent skittish about the property.
There are few options left for Lionsgate if they're looking for a "name" actress with the chops to carry a Jane Austen period romance and a zombie movie at the same time. Saoirse Ronan might be the only actress left but I can't imagine a world where she's picking up scraps left behind by Blake Lively...