Pride and Prejudice and Zombies loses director, may hire author

Posted by CB Droege

The previously announced director of the upcoming "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," David O. Russell, has left the project.

Lionsgate is considering several others as replacements including a directorial tem which includes the author of the novel upon which the movie is based.

Seth Grahame-Smith put out the New York Times best-selling parody of the classic Jane Austin novel in 2009. Since then he has put out a second undead-themed book, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," which is also being adapted for film, with Grahame-Smith drawing up the screenplay.

This is an interesting move because it is a rare and lucky novelist who gets the opportunity to direct the adaptation of his own book. Almost all authors want to direct their own stories, feeling that they would be the best qualified to judge the direction and vision of the film. However, most authors are not even allowed near the set, much less allowed in the big chair.

Mostly, this is because films have much different production style from books and, not only do most novelists not have the experience to direct a film, they also would be far too connected to the original work to allow the movie to function as intended.

It’s not an accident that the movie is never like the book. Movies follow a certain pacing and style which means that most novels simply wouldn’t work if adapted directly.

Lucky for Grahme-Smith, then that he has directorial experience. While all of his previous directing has been for television, he has a film degree, and Lionsgate seems to feel that he has the qualifications to lead up the production.

Perhaps being part of a team will help keep him objective about his work. If he’s brought on, it will be as one half of the directorial team which will also include his partner at Katzsmith prods., David Katzenberg.