Gillespie Quits Zombie Pride & Prejudice

Third director bites the dust

Lots of films lumber through Development Hell, but Pride And Prejudice And Zombies seems to be suffering more than most on the Production Plains of Dis. The undead literary comedy-horror mash-up has just lost Craig Gillespie, who's the third director to decide he's had enough.

Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl, Fright Night) had inherited the film from Mike White, who'd had to drop out due to a commitment at HBO. White in turn had picked up the project when David O Russell dropped it, favouring a trip to Old St Louis with Vince Vaughn. Other names in the hat previously included Neil Marshall (The Descent, **Centurion) and Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound**), but whether this news puts them back in the running (or whether they're still interested) remains to be seen.

Deadline cite Gillespie's departure as an amicable one to do with casting issues. This is a polite way of saying that nobody seems to want to be in the film. The lead role of the zombie-smashing Elizabeth Bennet has to date apparently been turned down by Natalie Portman (still a producer, as far as we know), Emma Stone, Mia Wasikowska and, most recently, Blake Lively. Shooting was supposed to get going at the beginning of next year, but with no cast and now, once again, no director, Lionsgate must be thinking about reorganising their diary.