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Pride And Prejudice And Zombies has new director and leads, same old refusal to die

Lily James (L), alongside metaphor for Hollywood's never-ending insatiable hunger for a property with widespread audience recognition

The grisly parade of victims to the shambling, unkillable monster that is the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling literary mashup Pride And Prejudice And Zombies just keeps getting longer. Since 2010, this unholy beast of a film production has consumed and spit out the likes of directors David O. Russell, Mike White, and Craig Gillespie, as well as would-be stars Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Mia Wasakowska, the reanimated corpse of Myrna Loy, Siri, and the pink-haired cartoon lady from the Esurance ads.

But since Charlie St. Cloud director Burr Steers welcomed the film’s cold embrace back in May, the production has again begun staggering in the right direction. The film’s mindless, relentless pursuit of a lead actress finally found a scared, cornered Downton Abbey’s Lily James at the back of a dead-end alley, from which there was no escape from a starring role as Elizabeth Bennett and presumably a decent chunk of future royalties.

Also trapped in the neverending hellscape of this deathless film production, which begins principal photography in September, is On The Road’s Sam Riley, who will play zombie hunter Mr. Darcy, and Dark Shadows’ Bella Heathcote as one of the younger Bennett sisters. The film’s producers are also eyeing Jack Huston for an unspecified role. Run for it, Jack Huston! No, idiot! Not upstairs! You never run upstairs to get away from a casting rumor!


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