First, The Walking Dead is on shaky ground—season two has been good but not great so far. Then, the more I learn about the production of World War Z, the more depressed I get. (Lainey: it sounds like the production is an over-budget mess. Also, by accident, apparently today is book day on my blog.) Now, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, author Seth Grahame-Smith’s clever, zombie-infested take on the Jane Austen classic, has lost its THIRD director. Craig Gillespie (Fright Night, but more importantly, Lars and the Real Girl) exited the project.

Twitch Film first reported this back in August and all parties—Gillespie and Lionsgate—were quick to nay-say the report. But now Deadline is reporting that it’s official and Gillespie has left the project, saying his departure was “amicable” but citing casting troubles. PPZ was originally a vanity project for Natalie Portman (she’s still attached as a producer), but then she dropped out and eventually Emma Stone was offered the role but she passed and most recently it was Blake Lively who said no. I mean, if you can’t get Blake F*cking Lively…

Lionsgate set a January 2012 start date but that’s starting to look like a pipe dream. For some reason, directors aren’t sticking to PPZ.

So what is going on? One thing I’m sure of is that Grahame-Smith, a dude Hollywood is VERY enthusiastic about right now, is not dealing with PPZ as he’s got Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter currently in post-production. There’s some low-level talk that Grahame-Smith might direct PPZ when Abraham Lincoln is done. I um, kind of hate that idea. I kinda think Abraham Lincoln may have done in its sister title. I’ve read both and I have to say, honestly, Abraham Lincoln is better. PPZ is fun and funny, sure, but Abraham Lincoln was WILD. Reading it was like an historical mindf*ck of awesomeness. And I heard really, really good stuff from the set of the movie. That enthusiasm isn’t carrying over to PPZ and while I liked the book, and I do think it’d make a cool movie, if no one believes in it enough to get amped up for it, just let it go. There’s no use half-assing a mediocre adaptation that no one is excited about.

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