Back in November he won the high-profile gig over a couple of other high-profile directors. But now writer / director / actor Mike White has had to pull out of directing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, due to a pre-existing commitment at HBO. "Grrr, aarggh," he said in a statement.*
White, who wrote School of Rock, directed Year of the Dog and died on the toilet in Zombieland, landed the project after David O Russell moved on. Lionsgate will be taking P&P&Z back out to potential directors again now, in order to maintain momentum.
Names in the hat previously were 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. Whoever ends up helming Seth Graeme-Smith's literary classic / zom-com mash-up will need to get cracking casting an Elizabeth Bennett and a Mr Darcy, and finding a way to expain why the book has beavers living in the Berkshire countryside.
*Not really. What he actually said was "I loved the project and looked forward to working with Lionsgate. Unfortunately, the timing could not be worked out. I wish them the best with the movie."