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Remember when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was going to be a film directed by David O. Russell and starring Natalie Portman? If you don't, I can't blame you; that was all the way back in December of 2009. The project has experienced many ups and devastating downs in the years since, with multiple directors signing on and then dropping it.But this is a film that, like its titular monsters, just won't die - so of course it's just signed on three actors to play the leads.
This most recent update about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes from Deadline, which reports that the movie has enlisted a surprisingly talented batch of performers to star. Cross Creek Pictures has acquired the rights to the book by Seth Grahame-Smith, and have now revealed that the adaptation will star Lily James, Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote. They perhaps don't have the most recognizable names, but all three have interesting track records.
Lily JamesJames hasn't been around long, making her professional acting debut in 2010 episodes of the UK family comedy Just William, but she has built a strong career since. She is probably best known for her work on the small screen thanks to roles on shows like Downton Abbey and Secret Diary of a Call Girl, but she also played Korrina in Wrath of the Titans and is the eponymous star of Kenneth Branagh's upcoming live-action adaptation of Cinderella. She will be playing the starring role of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Sam RileySam Riley has been building an impressive track record for a few years now, his most notable performance coming being in the 2007 music biopic Control (in which he played Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis), but his biggest exposure actually came this summer. Starring opposite Angelina Jolie, the English actor played Diaval in Robert Stromberg's Maleficent - the titular character's trusted advisor/raven. Naturally, he will play Mr. Darcy in the new horror comedy.
Bella HeathcoteBella Heathcote's track record isn't exactly as strong as her co-stars, but she was the recipient of an Australian acting scholarship that eventually led her to come star in movies here in the United States. Unfortunately her project selection hasn't been too great, as she has taken parts in critically bashed movies like In Time and Not Fade Away. She also had a part in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, and while that is yet another bad movie on her filmmography, it does give her a strange tie to Seth Grahame-Smith (who was a screenwriter on Dark Shadows). The actress will be playing Elizabeth Bennet's sister (it's not specified which one).
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is being directed by Burr Steers, best known as the man behind the Zac Efron movies 17 Again and Charlie St. Cloud. Interestingly, the production is still using a script partially written by David O. Russell. Filming will begin next month.