Johansson Fighting Zombies In A Frock

With Natalie Portman stepping away from the lead role as forthright maiden-turned-zombie slayer Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it was only a matter of time before other names started cropping up. In fact, Deadline reports that back when he was actually gearing up to make the film, David O Russell had lined up Scarlett Johansson to fill Portman’s dress and had even got Bradley Cooper interested in playing Mr Darcy.

But with Russell having left the movie completely (he’s chosen instead to focus on Old St Louis with Vince Vaughn and to kick off the mammoth task of adapting video game title Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune), the casting is once more up in the air. You’d think any incoming director would jump at the chance to nab Johansson and Cooper for the leads, but this is Hollywood and things are rarely that easy.

For a start, a new megaphone-wielder needs to be found, but apparently the Zombies script is all the better for Russell having developed it and several directors are interested in the job, including Mike Newell and Neil Marshall. David Slade is said to be a strong contender, if only because A) he’s been approached for every high-profile gig going, from Wolverine 2 To The Hunger Games and he’s got horror experience from 30 Days of Night. So with any luck, the film could grope back to life and start feasting off the talent of cast members and a director sooner rather than later.

Oh, and talking of the Wolverine sequel, Deadline’s report leads off with the fact that Darren Aronofsky is so close to making his deal to shoot the film that discussions are already starting up about shooting the soundstage segment of the movie in New York once he’s finished with the awards rounds for Black Swan, with a location shoot set for Japan shortly afterwards…

Peter Oberth
News by Peter Oberth
Follow him @ Twitter