Today in film and television: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies needs a new director, Spielberg blames Lucas for the last Indiana Jones movie, and Harry Potter DVDs could be returning to shelves by the end of next year.
- Everybody wants to be in the zombie business these days, except the people offered the director's chair on the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, who apparently can't make sense of the one-joke premise. The latest director to walk away from the movie version of Seth Grahame-Green's undead/Bennet sisters mashup is Craig Gillespie, who directed the well-received Fright Night remake last summer. Gillespie replaced Mike White, who was a replacement for David O. Russell, who wrote the script. The good news, according to Deadline's Mike Fleming, is that the split was "amicable""amicable, but had to do with things like who to cast in the film." With all the trouble agreeing on leads, Fleming predicts studio Lionsgate will target their next director in "a package from an agency that includes cast as well." [Deadline]
- Is Steven Spielberg coming around on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull being a less-than-terrific night at the movies? Spielberg tells Empire Online in a new interview that he's "very happy with the movie. I always have been," but then launches into a discussion of how he can "sympathise with people who didn't like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin. George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin." He goes on, "I didn't want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in - even if I don't believe in it - I'm going to shoot the movie the way George envisaged it. I'll add my own touches...but I will always defer to George as the storyteller of the Indy series. I will never fight him on that." In other words, George Lucas is lucky he has a friend like Spielberg, who doesn't get mad when he gives him a screenplay about uninteresting crystal orbs and long-lost sons who act like Shia LaBeouf and always have to get rescued. [Empire Online]
- An explosion on the Bulgarian set of The Expendables 2 has left a stuntman dead. According to the Sofia News Agency, the accident occurred "while filming a stunt with a fake bomb explosion in a rubber boat in the water reservoir" belonging to the town Elin Pelin, a suburb of Sofia. Two other stunt performers were also reportedly hurt in the blast. [Sofia News Agency via The Hollywood Reporter]
- Paramount is going to lay off 120 of its nearly 2,400 employees "as it merges its DVD, television and digital divisions and moves the headquarters of its international operation to Los Angeles from London," says The Los Angeles Times. 80 of the layoffs are of employees based in Los Angeles. The remaining 40 came from the London office of Paramount International. [The Los Angeles Times]