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Two weeks ago was a bad week for the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It started out badly when David O. Russell, who had been attached to direct since last December, decided to drop the project and was made worse when star Natalie Portman, who had been attached even before Russell, decided that waiting for the project was not in her best interest. With those two key figures gone, the future of the project looked grim if not dead. Now, in an example of pure irony, it's back from the grave.

Deadline reports Lionsgate has begun a hard target search finding a director for the Victorian parody, and may be close to locking in its two stars. Following Portman's departure from the project, Russell - who, contrary to the news timeline, left after Portman - had lined up Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper in the roles of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, respectively. With Russell now gone, however, the casting is still up in the air with other actors currently in the mix (though no other names are mentioned). The website predicts that the directing job will be a highly sought after gig because of the film's strong script and suggests that David Slade will likely be involved after losing out in both the Wolverine 2 and Hunger Games races.

You can likely expect that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will have its own little corner of the news in the coming weeks as more and more names pop up in relation to the project. As for Johansson in the role of Miss Elizabeth, we saw her in Victorian era garb in The Other Boleyn Girl (with Natalie Portman, no less) and kicking ass in Iron Man 2. I don't really see why this wouldn't work.

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