COMING SOON – Screen Gems has officially set a release date for director Burr Steers’ adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The Jane Austen reimagining will hit the big screen on February 19, 2016! The studio has also set a September 16, 2016 release for director Jon Cassar’s thriller When the Bow Breaks. New Line Cinema, meanwhile, has shifted the upcoming Vacation reboot/sequel from an October release to this July 31st.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, starring Lily James (Cinderella, “Downton Abbey”) as Elizabeth, Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows, The Rewrite) as Jane, Ellie Bamber (A Mother’s Son, The Falling) as Lydia, Millie Brady (“Mr. Selfridge”) as Mary and Suki Waterhouse (Love, Rosie, The Divergent Series: Insurgent), offers an “expanded” version of the Austen classic. The book tells the timeless story of a woman’s quest for love and independence amid the outbreak of a deadly virus that turns the undead into vicious killers.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies also stars Sam Riley (Maleficent, On the Road) as Mr. Darcy, Jack Huston (“Boardwalk Empire,” Kill Your Darlings) as Wickham and Matt Smith (“Doctor Who,” Lost River) as Mr. Collins.
When the Bow Breaks, meanwhile, stars Morris Chestnut (The Best Man, The Call) and Regina Hall (About Last Night, Think Like a Man) as John and Laura Taylor, a young, professional couple who desperately want a baby. After exhausting all other options, they finally hire Anna (Jaz Sinclair), the perfect woman to be their surrogate – but as she gets further along in her pregnancy, so too does her psychotic and dangerous fixation on the husband. The couple becomes caught up in Anna’s deadly game and must fight to regain control of their future before it’s too late.
Vacation, finally, stars Ed Helms (“The Office,” The Hangover) and Christina Applegate (Anchorman, The Book of Life). Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s “favorite family fun park,” Walley World. The film is will also include appearances from the original’s Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.
Both Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and When the Bow Breaks are the first major releases to claim their respective dates. Vacation, meanwhile, will go up against Southpaw, The Gift, The End of the Tour and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.
thanks to EW, we have our first look at Lily as Elizabeth Bennet in ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’. Enjoy!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Have you seen the Bennet sisters lately?
It might be time to get reacquainted with Jane Austen’s most famous family. Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) aren’t just eligible singles anymore; they’re sword- and knife-wielding martial artists.
With a zombie apocalypse that’s been raging for more than 70 years, they kind of have to be. Writer-director Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) took on the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s enormously popular book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies after years of development hell—David O. Russell had penned a draft and was attached to direct at one point—and rewrote the script with an eye toward realism. “The first thing I did was reinsert all the Pride and Prejudice beats,” says Steers, who also beefed up the roles of Darcy (Sam Riley) and Wickham (Jack Huston).
But it’s the spark-plug sisters who steal the show with their corset-bound roundhouse kicks. When it comes to her character, James doesn’t think that’s too much of a stretch. “Even in the original story, Elizabeth’s a fighter and beyond her contemporaries in her ambitions and her ideas of women,” she says. “She’s a badass warrior. She’s a ninja.” Filming began in late September; the action-adventure literary adaptation should hit the big screen next year.
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride And Prejudice And Zombies has been seeking big-screen life ever since the smash mash-up novel was published in 2009 — but through a series of director changes, it sometimes looked like it had one foot in the grave. No more. The movie version now is a reality with principal photography slated to start in September and Cross Creek Pictures acquiring domestic rights with a commitment for a wide U.S. release. Hot British actors Lily James and Sam Riley and Australia’s Bella Heathcote have been set to lead the film that mixes the 1813 Jane Austen classic Pride And Prejudice with a legion of bloodthirsty undead. Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down, Charlie St Cloud) is directing from a screenplay by David O. Russell and Steers. Brian Oliver, Allison Shearmur, Sean McKittrick, Natalie Portman, Annette Savitch, Tyler Thompson and Marc Butan will produce on behalf of Sierra/Affinity, which also is handling foreign sales. (The project formerly was at Panorama but moved over with Butan when he joined Sierra/Affinity in January.) CAA packaged the Cross Creek deal.
Published by Quirk Books, the international bestseller has taken its time to get to the starting line. Russell, whose strong script has been one of the constants throughout the process, at one point was going to direct for Lionsgate, but he dropped out in 2010. The studio then chose Mike White, who subsequently left over a scheduling conflict, and Craig Gillespie moved into position in April 2011, only to exit six months later. That split was amicable, but as Deadline reported at the time, had to do with things like who to cast. Emma Stone passed on the lead role in June 2011.
Portman, who along with much of the team has been aboard as producer from the outset, at one point was going to star and later dropped out. Lily Collins was floated for the lead last year at around the time Steers came on. The package is now firmed up with James playing Elizabeth Bennett, Riley as Mr Darcy and Heathcote as Elizabeth’s sister. Jack Huston is also in talks. The novel plays with the relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England who are faced with the challenge of an army of the “sorry stricken” aka zombies.
James, best known for her role as Lady Rose on Downton Abbey, next will be seen in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella (which Shearmur is also producing), and also is circling the Weinstein Co/BBC miniseries War And Peace. She’s repped by UTA and the UK’s Tavistock Wood Management. Riley was in the Disney smash Maleficent and is in The Weinstein Co’s upcoming Suite Française; he’s repped by WME and Tavistock Wood. Heathcote’s credits include Dark Shadows and In Time; she’s repped by WME and Oz’s JM Agency.