'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' Reborn With Lily Collins In Leading Role

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 30: Lily Collins attends WonderCon Anaheim 2013 - Day 2  at Anaheim Convention Center on March 30, 2013 i
ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 30: Lily Collins attends WonderCon Anaheim 2013 - Day 2 at Anaheim Convention Center on March 30, 2013 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)

Hollywood refuses to let "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" stay dead. After years of development ebbs and flows, Variety reports that an adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's literary mash-up (Jane Austen + zombies) is back on, with "Mirror Mirror" star Lily Collins in the leading role. Burr Steers ("17 Again") has been attached to direct.

Before getting too excited, however, it's good to remember just how many actresses and directors have been put together with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" since 2009. In December of that year, Natalie Portman was named as star with David O. Russell onboard to adapt Grahame-Smith's book into a screenplay and also direct. Russell would later quit the film in 2010, however, when he ran into budgetary issues with Lionsgate, the studio that had acquired the book's rights. "The studio budgeted it as a genre zombie movie and gave me $25 to $28 million," Russell told the Wall Street Journal in 2011. "I was like, that's not cool. We have crazy big action sequences in it. It's very commercial; we have a major romance. It's a period film. And we're doing it on the budget that we did 'The Fighter'? It made no sense to me. That I found was frustrating."

Mike White was brought on to direct after Russell, but had to leave because of scheduling conflicts with the HBO show "Enlightened." Craig Gillespie ("Lars and the Real Girl") replaced White, but then also exited "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" because of reported differences with the studio on which actress to cast in the lead role.

Which brings us to the actresses: Portman left the project in 2010, but remained on as producer. In 2011, Emma Stone was discussed as the possible lead, but no deal was ever reached. Blake Lively and Rooney Mara were also named possibilities, but neither actress decided to take the leap. Even stars like Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson have had their names appear in stories about "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." Now, however, it's Collins who stands as the "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" star.

For more on the film's latest developments, head over to Variety.

[via Variety]

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