Deadline have revealed that Seth Grahame-Smith’s best-selling novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, may yet hit cinemas after Darko Entertainment picked up the movie rights.
The project seemed doomed after casting and director issues were compounded by a spate of zombie-themed movies (Zombieland, Warm Bodies) and TV shows (The Walking Dead), which saturated the market. However, the sudden boom in the genre’s popularity will now likely prove beneficial to this project.
The novel is an undead mash-up of Jane Austin’s classic tale, Pride and Prejudice, and David O’Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) has already written the script, so the potential for success is huge.
Here’s the press release:
Panorama Media announced today they are joining Darko Entertainment, Handsomecharlie Films and producer Allison Shearmur in the production of Seth Grahame-Smith¹s worldwide best seller PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. The company will come on to produce, finance and will handle foreign sales on the film. Based on the book, the script is written by David O’Russell.
The film will be produced by Darko Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick, Natalie Portman, Annette Savitch and Allison Shearmur of Allison Shearmur Productions. It will be executive produced by Darko’s Edward H. Hamm Jr., Aleen Keshishian and Panorama’s Marc Butan.
The team is currently out to directors, and the film will be packaged for Cannes where Panorama’s international sales unit, headed by Kimberly Fox, plans to introduce the title. CAA, which brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, represents the film’s domestic distribution rights.
Published by Quirk Books, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES has sold over 1.5 million copies in the US, and has been translated into over two dozen languages.
Although no director is currently attached to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Grahame-Smith’s other novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, was hugely popular. He adapted the project for the screen and attracted Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) as director and Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd) as producer. Unfortunately, the film bombed at the box-office and was critically panned when it was released last year.
Darko Entertainment will be hoping for better luck with their Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adaptation.
Expect more developments to emerge after the Cannes Film Festival.