Blake Lively is the latest in a string of young Hollywood starlets allegedly attached to star in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in the two years since we learned about this project. Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, and Mia Wasikowska have all said no; Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johansson were rumored choices as well. We’re just not convinced that Blake could sell the part, and don’t want to rush to cast a star just to get the project rolling again.
The first thing we have to ask is, why wouldn’t an up-and-comer want to take on the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet? Sure, it’s pretty out-there, but Seth Grahame-Smith‘s revisionist-history comedy got a great reaction, and the movie adaptation is being helmed by Fright Night director Craig Gillespie. (Better yet, Fright Night screenwriter Marti Noxon ”retooled” the existing script.)
Despite her dramatic turn in The Town, we’re not totally bowled over by Blake… mostly because she brings that same husky voice to each role, and we don’t see that for Elizabeth. Here are a few actresses we’ve got in mind:
- Rebecca Hall: How has no one considered her yet? She was also in The Town, and was radiant in Woody Allen‘s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Plus, she’s already got the accent!
- Leighton Meester: Blake’s Gossip Girl co-star would just be a better fit; she’s had just as much movie experience, and has proven herself in some small comedies.
- Bryce Dallas Howard: She’s an unusual choice, but Bryce has invigorated roles in shaky projects before: Giving Peter Parker a new love interest in Spider-Man 3 and replacing Rachelle Lefevre in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Plus, she was great in The Help.
- Anne Hathaway: Technically Anne already played Jane Austen, so if you were a purist you’d consider it farfetched for her to take on Jane’s most famous character. But then again, it’s not like they’re in the same world.
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