Gillespie Talks Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: "Strong Female Characters, Action, Witty, Gothic"

by Sophia Savage
April 20, 2011 7:21 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Craig Gillespie, who will direct Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, talks to EW about the upcoming project. He says he'll do his homework and consider EW's suggestion of zombie cameos from Keira Knightley (pictured in Joe Wright's 2005 Pride and Prejudice) or Colin Firth.

Of the script, Gillespie confirms:

"David [O.] Russell wrote the script off the book, and it has such a great mix of humor and horror. I just love being able to juggle those two aspects. The humor is inherent in the Pride and Prejudice side, but taking that and accenting it with zombies is just a brilliant and fun idea. And there are such strong female characters, which is nice to have. It’s a great clash."

As for how the genres will be balanced, action and romance are key:

"There’s a lot of action in this..[but] I said to the studio, at the core it’s a love story between Elizabeth and Darcy. If that’s not working, and we’re not rooting for those two get together through all this craziness, the movie is not going to work...That’s key to me, to have this great emotional story going on, and all this craziness…I love the propriety of the Jane Austen novels, which you want to keep. The language, what’s appropriate and not appropriate. The customs, and the hierarchy. They had very witty dialogue with a lot of undertones to it. You need the juxtoposition. There’s going to be a strong gothic undertone, which ties the two genres together. It’s more in the world of [Tim Burton's 1999] Sleepy Hollow [pictured], where it’s somewhat stylized. We have that creative license because of the zombies. I’ll certainly do my homework and explore genres to see what might work, but it’s going to have that strong gothic sense, I think."

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