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Sam Riley cast as Mr. Darcy, Lily James as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #book2movies

Some of you old faithful's know my hubby worked on the screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter. It didn't go all that well. It seems folks didn't quite buy into the prez wielding a vampire slaying axe.  Presumably we'll be more interested in seeing Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in the screen version of Graham-Smith's mash up success, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Jane Austen's classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge -- an army of undead zombies.
The script was written by David O. Russell - who was going to direct but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts - and Burr Steers who took over the helming job after a few other directors came and went. 

Principal photography is set to begin this September with Brit actors Lily James (Lady Rose on Downton Abbey) and Sam Riley (On the Road) as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, with Australia’s Bella Heathcote as one of the Bennett sisters, most likely Jane.

Natalie Portman was going to play our Ms. Bennett and while she dropped out, is still onboard as a producer. Both Emma Stone and Lily Collins were looking at the part. In fact last year, we thought Collins was a definite but the role ultimately went to the lesser known - to American audiences anyway - James. We'll be seeing more of James in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and if the rumors are true, as Natasha Rostova in the upcoming Weinstein Co/BBC miniseries War And Peace

I think the problem with Abraham Lincoln was the lack of a sense of humor about the material; fingers crossed they get the tone right this time around. To my eye, the lead actors certainly look the parts - I'm kinda loving the idea of Riley as Darcy - and IF David O. Russell's script is as good as it is reported to be and IF there is an audience for the audacious adaptation - not your typical Austen fans, surely? - then, second time around for Grahame-Smith could be the charm.