'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' adaptation rises from the dead

The 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' movie has been resurrected and will star Lily James, Sam Riley

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," the long-in-development movie based on Seth Grahame-Smith's hit mash-up novel, has found new life.

After weathering a series of stops and starts, the film is finally set to begin shooting in September, with Burr Steers directing from a screenplay he wrote with David O. Russell, according to a Deadline report. Cross Creek Pictures has acquired domestic rights.

Lily James ("Downton Abbey") will play Elizabeth Bennet, Sam Riley ("Maleficent") will play Mr. Darcy, and Bella Heathcote ("Dark Shadows") will play another of the Bennet sisters.

Released in 2009, Grahame-Smith's book took Jane Austen's 1813 novel "Pride and Prejudice" and grafted elements of modern zombie horror onto the classic tale of courtship and class in early 19th century England. 

The book was a monster success and spawned a slew of similar projects, including a prequel and sequel from publisher Quirk Books, but the film adaptation has proved tricky.

Co-writer Russell was previously attached to direct, as were Mike White and Craig Gillespie, before Steers finally landed the gig. Actresses including Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Lily Collins were all said to have been set to play Elizabeth at one point as well.

In a 2012 interview with The Times' Hero Complex, Grahame-Smith said that "the stops and starts have been very public."

Now the film is finally on track, but the battle is far from over. After all, in 2012, Fox attempted an adaptation of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Grahame-Smith's follow-up to "Pride," and it was a critical and box-office dud. "Pride and Prejudice" hopes for a few more … gentleman callers.

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