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While Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter didn’t exactly light up the box office or critics’ eyes – though its worldwide gross of $116 million made it profitable – it hasn’t taken away the popularity of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, nor that of his first novel, the bestselling mash-up that birthed a sub-genre, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies.
In fact, the book is about to reach a whole new audience, for real this time, according to a press release reporting Panorama Media, Darko Entertainment, Handsomecharlie Films and Alison Shearmur are all coming together to produce a cinematic adaptation of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. Even though David O. Russell had long since left the project as a director, going on to direct the Best Picture nominee Silver Linings Playbook, the screenplay he penned is the one being used for this project, which is currently seeking directors. If you’ll recall, Craig Gillespie and Mike White were also involved with previous incarnations of the project before abandoning it. Natalie Portman has also been slated to start at one point, but now seems to simply be producing through her Handsomecharlie Films.
The plot behind Pride, Prejudice and Zombies is simple in its concept, but is successful in its execution. Essentially, Jane Austen’s classic novel is invaded by the undead, and Elizabeth Bennett stands between survival and humanity’s doom. With a strong female lead and Russell’s name on it, don’t be surprised if Jennifer Lawrence is one of the first names pumped out of the rumor mill.
With that many producers splitting costs, is it a sign of a quality script that no one can give up, or are they just spreading themselves thin to avoid big individual losses? I’d like to eat, er, pick their brains to find out.