Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Douglas Booth joins Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

One of the more resilient projects finding it's way out of development hell is Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, which is finally showing signs of life again having recently cast Sam Riley (Brighton Rock), Lily James (Fast Girls), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows) and Jack Huston (Boardwalk empire) in the lead roles. With filming creeping ever closer like an undead onslaught, Douglas Booth, who is well acquainted with cataclysmic scenarios after Noah, has recently signed on to play Mr. Bingley.

The film will adapt Seth Grahame-Smith's book, which mashes up Jane Austen's classic of manners and moods with zombie action. Lily James will play heroine Elizabeth Bennett, who must split her time between the romantic attentions and grumpy boorishness of Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) and fighting off legions of the "sorry stricken", also known as the undead. Bella Heathcote, meanwhile, will be one of the Bennett sisters, while Jack Huston's Mr. Wickham will apparently be in favour of training zombies to fight in wars. We can certainly see how that could go very wrong for all involved.

Bingley is the rich, endlessly happy friend to Darcy, and is smitten by Elizanbeth’s sister, Jane (who may well be played by Heathcote).

This is one that has already been through so many hands: Russell, Mike White (Enlightened) and Craig Gillespie (Fright Night) have all been touted as directors and have all worked on the script, which has also seen a draft from Jane Espenson (Once Upon A Time) among others. Back when it was first announced, Natalie Portman (Black Swan) was attached to the lead role (she remains as a producer), while Emma Stone (Gangster Squad) passed on it back in 2011 and Lily Collins was considered.

Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) is calling the shots from his rewrite of the script and the film should arrive some time next year. Booth, meanwhile, has The Riot Club due on 19 September and is also part of the hefty cast for the Wachowskis' (Cloud Atlas) Jupiter Ascending, which will now land here on 6 February next year.

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