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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Elizabeth Bennet has been cast

Updated 5/2/2013  * Scroll down for a look at Elizabeth Bennet.

Wow! This is wild. If you thought the Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter movie was disappointing enough to finally put a stop to anyone ever making a film of Seth Grahame-Smith's initial best-selling mash-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies;  you would be wrong!

Pride and Prejudice fans better get ready for a bumpy ride...the zombies are back. Back in 2009 David O. Russell was attached to write and direct the project. He left, later telling the WSJ Speakeasy blog that it came down to money. He didn't feel they could make the film for the $25-28 million budget allocated, he felt $40-50 million was needed. At the time Natalie Portman was also attached to produce and star.  In the newly ignited production she is still expected to produce but won't play Elizabeth.

What's wild though, is who wrote the adaptation ... David O. Russell! Yes, they are still using his script. That should help, don't you think?  Having a script written by an Oscar nominated writer director with the success of Silver Linings Playbook only adding to his lustre. Which increases PP&Z chances for success by, I don't know how much, but substantially.

Add to that the fact that the book has sold more than 1.5 copies here in the US and been translated into a couple of dozen languages which gives the filmmakers a large built-in fan base. And multiply that by the possibility of Portman coming back to star. I think the results could be quite interesting, at least for fans of the mash-up genre!

*UpdateThe news today is that emerging star Lily Collins has been hired on to play the Elizabeth Bennet character. (So Portman is out Collins (Mirror, Mirror and The Blind Side) has three more  projects in the works and they're all large starring roles in screen adaptations. She's Clary Fray in The Mortal Instruments; City of Bones based on Cassandra Clare's novel; the movie is coming out August 23.  She's Juliet in Rosaline, the film based on When You Were Mine, the very modern retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo+Juliet written by Rebecca Serles. 500 Days of Summer writing team Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber adapted the script.  And finally - for today anyway - she's Rosie in Love, Rosie (not to be confused with Rosaline) based on  Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End. 

The 24 year old LA-based, British born actor's apparent penchant for adaptations isn't that surprising when you know that Collins has always been interested in the written word; as a teen she wrote a column for Britain's Elle Girl and contributed pieces to Teen Vogue, Seventeen and the Los Angeles Times before majoring in journalism at USC. Now I'm really curious to see who will play the young Colin Firth, er, perfect Mr. Darcy in this crazy mashup.