With David O. Russell officially moving on the from the upcoming big screen adaptation of the best-selling "Pride And Prejudice And Zombies," and with Natalie Portman no longer slated to star (she is still producing), directors are apparently loving the script that Russell left behind with a minor frenzy underway for the director's seat. Just two days ago the names of Mike Newell ("The Prince Of Persia"), Neil Marshall ("Centurion") and David Slade ("Twilight: Eclipse") were thrown into the mix but now the project has some top tier talent circling.
Jonathan Demme and Matt Reeves are both showing interesting in the director's chair, along with (random choice) Mike White ("Year Of The Dog") and the directing duo behind the animated hit "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs," Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
It's an interesting and eclectic mix to be sure. The oddball candidate of the bunch seems to be Mike White, who has never really directed anything of this scale before and the material seems atypical of his usual work. We don't see him landing the gig. Demme might seem like a strange fit at first, but the genre-hopping director loves new challenges and always brings an interesting perspective and we think he would be a brave, if not obvious choice. Lord and Miller have long been attached to direct "21 Jump Street" with Jonah Hill, but with co-star Emma Stone shooting "Spider-Man" late this year that film is up in the air, and may even be delayed to accommodate Stone, allowing Lord and Miller to slide into 'Pride' which is aiming for an early 2011 start. Our preferred choice is new Playlist favorite Matt Reeves, who quickly silenced our doubts with his knockout "Let Me In." Every member of The Playlist who has seen the film has been bowled over; this guy has the goods (and the geek cred) to really make 'Pride' exciting. The less said about Newell, Slade and Marshall the better (particularly the latter who has seen a long, ugly downward slide since "The Descent").
And of course, where there directing rumors there are murmurs of a potential cast with Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska, Tilda Swinton and Catherine O'Hara among the early names mentioned for parts in the film. We're sure those are not the only ones being thrown around agent and casting offices, but it's a strong rebound for the film which, for a brief moment, seemed to be dead when Russell and Portman both exited.