Why is every Hollywood a-lister and up-and-coming actress turning down Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Is it perhaps because none of them have a sense of humour? Variety's Justin Kroll tweeted earlier that Gossip Girl and Green Lantern's Blake Lively has become the latest in a long list of female thesps to shun the picture which re-imagines Jane Austen's famous 19th century romance novel with a legion of zombies to mess up the tormented lovers! A firm offer from Lionsgate went out to the actress just over a week ago but for reasons unknown she won't take it.
Casting update, news broke a couple weeks back that Blake Lively was offered lead in PRIDE PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. She has officially passed.
Rooney Mara & Emma Stone both passed on the movie this year, Anne Hathaway & Mia Wasikowska had too much going on and Scarlett Johansson was only ever interested in starring if the formerly attached David O.Russell (The Fighter, Three Kings) was to direct. Originally Natalie Portman was set to lead but having won an Oscar for Black Swan, becoming a mother for the first time, she decided to drop out to instead only produce. So who's left for Lionsgate and director Craig Gillespie (Fright Night remake, Lars & The Real Girl) to turn to now as their new Elizabeth Bennett? Is Imogen Poots a big enough name for them, having appeared in Gillespie's recent horror flop? Probably not, though she did appear in a BBC Jane Austen drama that could boost her chances. Keira Knightley has to be worth a call, just for the fun of seeing her do a follow-up to 2005's Pride and Prejudice which she won an Oscar nomination for but now with the undead. She's unlikely to do it however and my second choice would be Carey Mulligan as she could probably give the movie more gravitas than it deserves. Although despite not being a bigger name than those above, the current scream queen is clearly Amber Heard. Though she gives off too much of a modern feel, 21st century girl to star in something like this. But where would you turn too next? As long as they can find somebody who will accept, production on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is expected to begin rolling early next year as Gillespie re-writes David O. Russells original screenplay with his Fright Night scribe Marti Noxon to make it more his voice/vision. Of course once they have an Elizabeth firmly in place the rest of the supporting players shouldnt be too hard to find. As we have said from day one we would hope that this would include casting the movie as if it were a serious Austen adaptation and nobody should be on in the joke when it turns into the horror genre. Thats how you make this movie work. Seth Grahame-Smiths novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has sold multi-millions of copies in just 18 months of shelf life and with the genre meshing fad so hot right now (though it took a huge blow when Cowboys & Aliens didnt catch on), Lionsgate are aggressively looking to get this potential tentpole out by 2013.