By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 23, 2011 at 3:45AM
Here we go again. Despite names like Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson and Mia Wasikowska all being tossed around as potential leads for the forever-gestating "Pride And Prejudice And Zombies" the film is yet to find an Elizabeth, and today, yet another contender has emerged.
The folks over at Twitch are reporting that Blake Lively has been offered the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet in the film. Director Craig Gillespie -- who despite previous reports is not off the project -- has apparently met with her and the part is now on the table. It's an interesting move, and one that should get fanboys talking but it's not an unreasonable choice, though it will be her biggest role to date. Lively has impressed in "The Town" and "The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee" and while she was pretty dreadful in "Green Lantern" so was everybody else, so we're willing to give her the benefit of the doubt here. From another perspective, former director David O. Russell previously said that budget concerns were the reason he bounced from the directing project. Certainly, Lively, who is still making her path in the feature film world is a much more... affordable option for a film with a thrifty accounting department.
Of course, this is just an offer and who knows if she'll take it and we'd wager there are probably other contenders on the sidelines in case she turns it down. When we spoke to Gillespie last month, he revealed he was hoping to get "Pride And Prejudice And Zombies" rolling next year. “I’m hoping to be shooting in the beginning of next year, so we’ll see,” Gillespie said. “David O. Russell wrote a great script, but I actually just wrote a rewrite with [‘Fright Night’ screenwriter] Marti Noxon and we’re just going after cast.”
It seems like they are on schedule and hopefully once they nail down their Elizabeth the rest of the pieces can fall into place. While any project that has been developing this long is bound to feel a bit damaged, we remain somewhat optimistic given that Russell's script is still being used as the foundation. So fingers crossed, but man, let's get this thing cast already.