January 26, 2011

Speakeasy: Why David O. Russell dropped Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Now that the Oscar nominees have been announced, it looks like David O. Russell is in the running for Best Director in recognition of his film The Fighter. But did you know he was once going to helm a film with an altogether different kind of fighting? Yes. Zombie fighting!

Followers of zombie movie news and literary mashups may remember that O. Russell was originally set to direct the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies but ultimately left the project. Speakeasy got to speak to O. Russell, and he explained why he couldn't make Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a reality:
I thought at $40 to $50 million was a bargain price to make a “Sherlock Holmes”-style period action romance that happened to have zombies in it. . . . The studio budgeted it as a genre zombie movie and gave me $25 to $28 million. I was like, that’s not cool. We have crazy big action sequences in it. It’s very commercial; we have a major romance. It’s a period film. And we’re doing it on the budget that we did “The Fighter?” It made no sense to me. That I found was frustrating. [SOURCE: SPEAKEASY]
So a tight budget takes down another film. A story as old as time. $28 million really doesn't seem like it would cover the scope of the film's special effects and period budget. Will Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ever make it to the big screen?