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Mike White directing “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies”

With David O. Russell’s abrupt departure in favor of the “Uncharted” adaptation, the director’s chair for Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, the upcoming adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel of the same name, has been the hottest job to get in Hollywood. Now, Deadline has it that after meeting with several directors, Lionsgate has closed a deal to have Mike White (Year of the Dog) take over the project.

White had been rumored for some time, though was far from a being a lock, let alone the biggest name on the list, which included David Slade (Twilight: Eclipse, 30 Days of Night) Mike Newell (Prince of Persia, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married, Silence of the Lambs).

Largely known more for his writing, having written Orange County, The Good Girl and School of Rock, White made his directing debut with the 2007 dramedy Year of the Dog (his only directing credit to date). He must have some serious charisma and humor to sway Lionsgate, considering the competition. With a script adapted by Grahame-Smith himself and fever-pitch anticipation building in Hollywood, now comes the vital step of casting. When last rumors ran, Russell (prior to leaving the project) wanted Scarlett Johansson for the role of Elizabeth Bennet (after Natalie Portman left the project) and Bradley Cooper, but neither were ever confirmed to be onboard with the project. Casting aside, one can only hope (or not) that Molly Shannon (White’s  “Dog” star) shows up in some form to kick some zombie ass.

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