Mike White has exited as director of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a movie adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel which is a horror/ Comic/ romantic takeoff on the original. Lionsgate is financing the film.
Mike White cited earlier commitments to HBO as the reason for exit. I loved the project and looked forward to working with Lionsgate. Unfortunately, the timing could not be worked out. I wish them the best with the movie, he said in a press statement.
Mike White's exit will leave a big lacunae for Lionsgate to fill as it is a big project for them. Mike brought with him a large scripting, directing and acting experience. He is the winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for Chuck & Buck. He was a writer and producer on Dawson's Creek and Freaks and Geeks and wrote and acted in the films Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, Orange County, School of Rock and Nacho Libre. He also had a role in the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives, and the 2008 film Smother.
Mike came into the picture in Novemeber after David O Russell exited. Lionsgate will have to zone in on another director soon as there is a lot of interest in the movie based on this popular novel.
When the book was published in 2009, it quickly became a cult favorite among the internet bloggers, it featured in newspaper articles, podcasts and tweets. The novel’s novelty of subject and the bringing together of a a seminal classic with zombies was enough to drive up the interest. So much so that the book instantly rose up to number 3 in The New York Times bestseller list. The book moved on amazon.co.uk's bestseller list from the 300s to 27th place. The book required a second printing before it was published in the United Kingdom.
The script of the film generated enough interest for directors like Jonathan Demme, Matt Reeves, Phil Lords and Chris Miller along with Mike White showed interest. Lionsgate picked up David O Russell and then handed it over to White.
The cast has still not been finalised with Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy, Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper being strong contenders. Earlier Natalie Portman was supposed to produce and star in the film but she exited due to prior commitments.