September 23, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
UPDATE: Another one bites the dust. Lively, too, has officially passed on the chance to slay zombies as Lizzie Bennett.
Emma Stone won’t be a twisted version of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett, but could Blake Lively? Twitch reports that director Craig Gillespie has met with the blonde beauty and has offered her the role in his “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, but there is no read one way or another whether Lively is inclined to accept. After all, plenty of other young actresses have been offered the part, but for one reason or another, they have all thus far said no. At this point, any actress offered the role must be asking herself why so many people have turned it down, and weigh how she feels about being number 6 or 7 on the production’s wish list.
Seth Grahame-Smith adapted the screenplay from his own novel of the same name, which faithfully retells the courtship between Jane Austen’s famous lovers Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, but with one major twist: the idyllic Victorian setting of their courtship is overrun with blood-sucking, brain-eating undead zombies. And with both Elizabeth and Darcy well trained in the art of combat, their iconic verbal sparring sometimes descends into inflicting actual physical violence on each other.
The project has been going through musical chairs not only with directors – David O. Russell was originally tapped, followed by Mike White, who also dropped out, paving the way for Gillespie – but also with castings, with Natalie Portman as the original Lizzie, followed by talks with Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway and Mia Wasikowska. Portman still remains part of the project as a producer. On Darcy’s side, the likes of James McAvoy and Bradley Cooper were considered at one point.
Lively, longtime star of The CW’s “Gossip Girl”, now in its fifth season, has been successfully aligning herself neck and neck with some of film’s hottest actresses, landing a breakout role in Ben Affleck’s 2010 “The Town” and subsequently showing up on one shortlist after another, sometimes landing the role (Oliver Stone’s highly sought after “Savages”), sometimes not (David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook”). She was most recently seen in gritty drama “Hick” opposite Chloe Moretz and Eddie Redmayne, though the indie flick may have trouble finding distribution after it debuted to horrific reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival.
If you ask us, Gillespie already has the perfect zombie-killing Elizabeth Bennett in his “Fright Night” actress Imogen Poots. But who knows? Perhaps she, along with the likes of Stone, Portman, Wasikowska and Hathaway, has too said no. Will Lively follow or has Lionsgate found their Lizzie at last?