Editor’s Note: We removed the story regarding Christopher Smith’s werewolf movie per his request. Sorry guys!
In an interview this morning with Christopher Smith (Severance, Triangle) about his new gruesome period film Black Death (now On-Demand, Xbox, Playstation, Vudu, Amazon.com and iTunes February 4; in theaters March 11), B-D reporter Chris Eggertsen made sure to ask the director about recent rumors he’s become Lionsgate’s leading choice to direct the red-hot Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – an adaptation of the mash-up novel by author Seth Grahame-Smith – following Mike White’s departure from the project last month.
However, it turns out Smith doesn’t know anything more about it than the general public, insisting he first spotted the rumor “on the net” like the rest of us and hasn’t heard anything since. Nevertheless, he admitted he’s definitely interested in taking the helm if the opportunity arises.
“There’s a rumor on the net – which I only knew about the same as everyone else – that I was in the lead for [directing] ‘Pride & Prejudice & Zombies’,” Smith told B-D over the phone. “And I would love to [do it]. Whether that happens, who knows? But it’s exactly the sort of thing I like. It’s a mash-up…that’s where genre [films are] always best, is when it’s doing interesting things. That’s why we like it…because they’re not just serial killer movies, they’re…[‘Nightmare on Elm Street’] is a serial killer movie, but when you first watch that movie it’s brilliant cause it’s dealing with dreams, and it’s new. That’s when they’re the best, I think.”
The rumor did necessitate a little damage control on Smith’s part, however, given his knowledge that friend/fellow director Neill Marshall (The Descent, Centurion) has also been circling the project.
“The weird thing [is], I’d been talking to Neil Marshall about it a few weeks before we’d heard that Mike White pulled out,” he said. “Cause I knew that Neil was kind of circling that film. And then the next day I get on the net: ‘Chris Smith is [attached to] ‘Pride [and Prejudice]’! Literally, I had to call Neil Marshall and say, ‘Hey Neill! I didn’t know anything about this! I’m not undercover, I’m not trying to go undercover to get this movie!’ So I think what it is, is that they’re trying to work out…I don’t know. I honestly have no idea about it, it’s obviously an exciting project. It’s a hot project, a really cool idea.
“I think that the idea itself could be a hit if done right,” he continued. “The problem with the thing is, is that you kind of have to do it a certain way because the audience for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is not the audience for zombie movies, and how do you mix that and make it so that one meets the other in a really cool way? That’s the key of that film, I think. So I think it’s gonna be interesting to see what they do with it.”
Smith also took pains to shoot down other recent reports that he is definitely not taking part or even interested in the project and that instead he’ll next be directing a film noir/road movie entitled Detour (a project he is, in fact, currently working on). He just simply doesn’t know.
“I spoke to a journalist like two days ago and it came up on the net: ‘Chris Smith is no longer [interested] in ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!’,” he told B-D. “No, that’s not true!”
So here’s the story, straight from the mouth of Christopher Smith: he has no idea if he’s the lead choice to direct ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’. He hasn’t heard anything. But he would LIKE to direct the film if the project comes his way, and is not yet committed to helming any other project at this time. Clear enough?