UPDATE: The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Merry-Go-Round Keeps on Turning
After the incredible success of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, adapted from Jane Austen's work of nearly the same name (sans zombies, of course), a movie was the next logical step. The story of Elizabeth Bennet carving up zombies and duking it out with Lady Catherine screamed to be brought to life on the big screen.
Unfortunately, the process of making the film has been as tumultuous as a midnight stroll through the village of Meryton itself. But in spite of losing its star and three directors, all within the course of one year, the film version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies seems to be back on track, and the work of screenwriter Marti Noxon is certainly one of the main reasons.
Fresh off the opening of the Fright Night remake (another script penned by Noxon), the highly successful writer spoke to FEARnet over the weekend about the trials of bringing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to the screen.
For the film Noxon was reunited with Fright Night director Craig Gillespie. "I was brought into the project because the script needed some work and he (director Gillespie) pitched me to undertake it," Noxon said. "I did a rewrite, and now they are casting it. I would do any project with Craig."
But Noxon felt the script wasn't so much lacking in quality, as it was missing a woman's touch.
"Some of the rewrite was just to get a female standpoint and to work with the character Elizabeth," Noxon said. "She's an incredible female hero and a great literary hero. To me it made perfect sense that she would also fight zombies. They just needed a bit of the 'girl perspective.'"
And Noxon was determined to bring that point-of-view to the film as well as gain a mastery of the subject matter itself. To prepare for the script rewrite, she listened to the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies audiobook as well as the original, zombie-free version. She also read Pride and Prejudice along with some other works by Jane Austen. "The trick was finding a balance between making the language sound accurate without locking people out," Noxon said. "For a while, anytime anyone talked to me, everything out of my mouth was 'verily' and 'nay sir.'
But with the work complete, Noxon feels the filmmakers have a thrilling story on their hands. "It's very much a comedy-action movie," she said, "...and horror, too. There are some really chilling parts." (We can only hope the infamous ballroom zombie battle is among them!)
And although Noxon was thrilled to write about a powerful female character such as Elizabeth, she felt it was disappointing to have to dig so deeply for a strong female lead. "It's a sad statement we had to go all the way back to Jane Austen to get a strong female character," Noxon said. "But with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Hunger Games coming, there are some new female heroines on the way."
Heard from Lionsgate and they want to assure fans that the silly rumor going around of Gillespie leaving the project is ABSOLUTELY FALSE.
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