Lionsgate has hired director Craig Gillespie to direct the studio’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Gillespie directed the critical and audience hit Lars and the Real Girl, and is also directing the upcoming Fright Night, starring Collin Farrell and set to be released this August.
Natalie Portman is producing the film under her handsomecharlie films shingle with Annette Savitch, who arranged for Darko Entertainment to acquire the rights from publisher Quirk Books.
The book was co-authored with Jane Austen by Seth Graham-Smith, and was a New York Times bestseller, a top seller on Amazon.com and was placed on “Oprah’s Summer Reading List.”
Darko’s Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick and Ted Hamm will also produce. President of Motion Picture Production Alli Shearmur and Lionsgate Senior Vice President of Production Jim Miller are overseeing the project for the studio.
Commenting on the announcement, Shearmur said: “We are so excited to have Craig Gillespie on board this film. His sensibility spans from genre bending horror to elegant character driven comedy, which is perfect for this movie. ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ is precisely the kind of movie I came to Lionsgate to make: sophisticated yet youthful and edgy. Our movie will be all of those things with zombies- and it will benefit enormously from Craig’s unique perspective.”
Lionsgate will retain worldwide distribution rights. The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Robert Melnik, Lionsgate Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs.