Just like its main antagonists, “Pride Prejudice and Zombies” is a film that refuses to die, and looks like it may have risen again from the dead. Burr Steers is on board to direct with Lily Collins in negotiations to star in the adaptation of Seth Grahame Smith’s mash-up of the literary classic.
The book follows the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England who are faced with a new challenge — an army of undead zombies. Collins would play the Elizabeth Bennet character.
Darko Entertainment and Panorama Media are producing with Panorama funding. Natalie Portman and Annette Savitch of Handsomecharlie films and Allison Shearmur of Allison Shearmur Productions are producing.
The project has been in development for some time, with David O. Russell eyed to direct, Portman starring and Lionsgate distributing. But the script took too long to develop the proper tone, leading to Russell and Portman exiting because of scheduling conflicts. After those two left, the film never found its footing, though directors such as Mike White and Craig Gillespie were attached and eventually left.
The film was in the middle of development when another mash-up, “Cowboys and Aliens,” came out and disappointed at the box office, and sources said that film’s failure may have scared principals away from another pricey pic in a similar genre. But the hiring of Steers shows there is still a strong desire to make the film, especially given the ongoing appeal of zombies.
Russell wrote the initial draft and it is unknown if further work will be done on it. With a director locked in and a femme star lined up, the film seems to be finally getting closer to liftoff. CAA-repped Steers most recently helmed “Charlie St. Cloud” starring Zac Efron. Collins is also repped by CAA and can be seen next in “The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones.”