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About a week and a half ago we found out that the lead role of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was offered to Gossip Girl star Blake Lively. The role, which may just be the least coveted role of all time, had already been turned down by Natalie Portman, who is still producing the film, Mia Wasikowska, Scarlett Johansson, and future Gwen Stacy, Emma Stone.
Turns out, confirming my psychic abilities, Lively isn’t interested in the role either, according to a Tweet by Variety’s Justin Kroll. So where does this leave Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? In the same place it has been for months--at the drawing board with no one willing to step into what will be a risky lead. The crew is in place with Portman producing as mentioned and Craig Gillespie prepared to helm, but obviously they can’t go anywhere without someone to put on the posters.
What may be the best idea for P&P&Z is to wait. Typically studios get a hot property and want to get it out as quickly as possible, but without the ability to land a star they should step back. P&P&Z author Seth Grahame-Smith’s other adaptation, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, is nearing completion for its June 22, 2012 release date, and allowing this out into the wild and judging audience reaction, if it’s positive, will hopefully spark some interest in the role of Elizabeth Bennett.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t dead yet, but it’s getting there. It’s beginning to feel like the creatures in its story, like zombies that just won’t die. The best move will be to table P&P&Z, regroup, and judge audience reaction to ALVH. More on this undead film as it crawls around looking for food.