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TCA: Jack Davenport In PBS ‘Breathless’, Matthew Rhys In Masterpiece ‘Pemberley’

Jack Davenport was given the thankless job in NBC’s canceled Smash of portraying a hotshot choreographer-director who thought Katharine McPhee was the perfect Marilyn Monroe for his Broadway production.  Now he will get a much happier role playing an OBGYN in London in the 1960s-set Breathless for PBS. Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton confirmed his casting tonight at Summer TV Press Tour 2013. ITV Studios is co-producing. Eaton also confirmed Deadline’s May report that Matthew Rhys will play Mr. Darcy in PBS’s 3-part adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley, based on the novel by P.D. James that imagines Jane Austen’s Darcy and Elizabeth six years after they marry and a body turns up at Pemberley as they’re preparing for their annual ball. Anna Maxwell Martin plays Elizabeth in the drama, timed to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Origin Pictures is producing for BBC One with filming in Yorkshire. The series is expected to run during the end-of-year holidays. Read More »

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Craig Gillespie Exits Lionsgate’s ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Craig Gillespie is exiting Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, becoming the latest filmmaker to walk away from the Lionsgate project. The screen adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel mixes the 1813 Jane Austen classic with a legion of bloodthirsty zombies. So far, the film hasn’t had much luck with directors, or casting for that matter. Gillespie, who directed the critically acclaimed art house film Lars And The Real Girl and followed with Fright Night, came on to the film after Mike White left. White had replaced David O. Russell, who wrote the script. The split here was amicable but had to do with things like who to cast in the film. Casting has been tough on this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lionsgate doesn’t look for not only a director but a package from an agency that includes cast as well.

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Craig Gillespie Set To Direct ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’

Mike Fleming

Lionsgate has made it official. Craig Gillespie has been set to direct Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the movie adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel that mixes the 1813 Jane Austen classic with a legion of bloodthirsty zombies. Gillespie, who directed the critically acclaimed art house film Lars and the Real Girl, most recently directed the Fright Night remake that stars Colin Farrell. Deadline told you that Gillespie was the front-runner in early February and that he would be getting the gig earlier this month. This has been one of the hotter genre titles around, and the hope here is that this takes care of the film’s commitment issues and that Lionsgate has found the filmmaker who’ll make the movie. David O. Russell had been attached to the project, and turned in a script that everybody likes before dropping out. He was replaced by Mike White, who dropped out in January, citing commitments to an HBO pilot. Natalie Portman is producing through her handsomecharlie shingle with Annette Savitch, who arranged for Darko Entertainment to acquire screen rights from Quirk Books. Darko’s Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick and Ted Hamm will also produce. UTA reps Gillespie.

“We are so excited to have Craig Gillespie on board this film,” said Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate president of Motion Picture Production. “His sensibility spans from genre-bending horror to elegant character-driven comedy, which is perfect for this movie.”

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Mike White Gets ‘Pride And Prejudice and Zombies’ Offer

Mike Fleming

Lionsgate has made a formal offer to Mike White to direct Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel that spices up Jane Austen’s time-tested Jane Austen with a smattering of flesh-eating walking corpses. White, who scripted School of Rock, made his feature directing debut on Year of the Dog. Several directors eyed the project since David O Russell exited the project but left behind a strong script and the idea of having Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper play the leads.

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