'Pride & Prejudice & Zombies' Won't Die, Shoots in Fall with New Cast
It's been over a year since we heard about the resurrected development of the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's remix novel Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. At the time, Mirror Mirror star Lily Collins was slated to lead the film from Igby Goes Down and 17 Again director Burr Steers is on board to direct the film, but Deadline reports plans have changed. Thankfully though, this time Steers is still on board to direct from a screenplay he polished that was initially written by David O. Russell. But the cast has changed. Instead British actors Lily James (above) and Sam Riley will lead the film with Aussie Bella Heathcote.
For those who don't know, the book follows the original story of Jane Austen's classic Pride & Prejudice, the familiar tale of two lovers from different social classes in 19th century England. But rather than just dealing with those romantic entanglements, there's also zombies that show up and create problems for everyone. James will play Elizabeth Bennett while Riley has the role of her suitor Mr. Darcy, and Heathcote will play Eliabeth's sister. Apparently there's also talks of Jack Huston ("Boardwalk Empire") taking a role, but his character is not mentioned.
James is best know for her role on the hit series "Downton Abbey" and will get even more acquainted with American audiences with the titular role in Disney's new live-action Cinderella next spring. Riley also has Disney ties since he just had a pivotal supporting role in Maleficent, another revisionist tale based on an animated classic. Meanwhile, Heathcote was seen in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and also the sci-fi In Time. The lack of starpower doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, but this film has been a long time coming, so maybe it's good that the pieces finally seem to be falling into place. Natalie Portman is still on board as producer, and I'm sure she'll be relieved to get this one finished. Production begins in September and Cross Creek Pictures will give the film a wide release in the United States, though no date has been set yet.