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Mike Newell, Neil Marshall, and David Slade being considered to direct Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

10.18.2010

One of the hotly sought-after directing gigs in Hollywood right now is PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, the project that madman director David O. Russell (THE FIGHTER) recently departed. Who might take up his mantle?

Deadline is reporting three names that are on now on Lionsgate's shortlist for the film: Mike Newell (PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE), Neil Marshall (CENTURION, THE DESCENT), and David Slade (THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, HARD CANDY).

Newell, a somewhat odd choice considering the types of films he's most recently tackled, is apparently the early front runner for the job. Newell is also the most seasoned director of the three. But Marshall and Slade bring with them some pretty great horror and action chops, making them particularly interesting potentials for the zombified adaptation. (My personal choice of these three would be Neil Marshall.)

But what about the cast? Before he left the film, David O. Russell had Scarlett Johansson (IRON MAN 2) in mind to replace Portman as lead character Elizabeth Bennet, and Bradley Cooper (THE A-TEAM) as Mr. Darcy. Deadline notes that while a new director will likely pick their own leads, Johansson and Cooper are still the front runners.

A little on the book from author Seth Grahame-Smith (via Amazon): 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.' So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.
Extra Tidbit: Casting suggestions?
Source: Deadline

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