Yesterday it became official that Craig Gillespie is the new director of the highly-anticipated Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Today, the filmmaker said that the screenplay is currently undergoing a quick polish.
"We have a really great script that we're just going to do a polish on and then get going, really.... 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."
He also talked about combining the elements of Jane Austen's classic novel with the zombie aspects that Seth Grahame-Smith added into his novel, a combination he compared to Sleepy Hollow.
"There's a lot of action in this. There are a lot of big set pieces in this film, which is exciting. Basically, as 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, 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."
"I hadn't thought about that, but you're definitely giving me food for thought."