When cameras finally start rolling on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Lionsgate is going to throw the mother of all office parties.
A week or so back we reported that the film was having trouble casting its female lead. Now we have a bit of a status update on the project from Marti Noxon (who was brought in to work on David O. Russel’s script in June). It all sounds cheery enough, but the reality is that Pride And Prejudice And Zombies more than likely still has a rough road ahead of it.
Per Noxon, “The original script was written by David O. Russell, who is no slouch. Some of [the rewrite] was just from a female standpoint and working with the character of Elizabeth. She is an incredible female hero and a great literary hero. To me, it made perfect sense that she would also fight zombies. I feel like they just needed a bit of that “girl perspective.” Some of [the rewrite] was just working with the third act. It’s always hard to land the third act of a movie like this. Every movie I have ever worked on you work and rework the third act until you are blue in the face.”
More after the jump.
Noxon is a talented writer but, as we saw with Fright Night, talented writers aren’t always able to effectively mesh their material with the studio’s notes. It’s worth noting that Michael Bacall, who’s also a great and diverse writer (there’s more to him than Scott Pilgrim), had reportedly turned in a draft before Noxon was brought on.
I’m still not entirely sure what the problem is here, but as I was saying last week, actresses are starving for good ass-kicking roles. So if they’re all passing on it something’s probably not right with the material. I know Lionsgate doesn’t exactly bring huge offers to the table, but I think if money was truly the issue they would have coughed more up by now just to get this thing off the ground.
This all sounds like a studio that has no idea what to do with the script. And it’s the problem with committee filmmaking. They purchased the rights to the book based on the title and the concept. Then realized they had to make a real movie out of it. In their panic, they won’t let any of the number of talented people that have come and gone from this thing actually apply the skill sets for which they were hired. And now? Griffin Mill has won.
The interview with Noxon seems upbeat, but it’s possible that the situation has deteriorated since this exchange went down. The teaming of Noxon and Gillespie probably doesn’t inspire the same confidence in studio executives as it did before August 19th.
Anyway, you can check out the rest of the interview (which bizarrely includes the sentence “Fresh off the success of ‘Fright Night’” ) over at FEARnet.
I’m surprised Dan Aykroyd hasn’t attached himself yet.