Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Credit: Todd Williamson/

Image Credit: Todd Williamson/WireImage.comMike White has chosen Enlightenment over Zombies.

The writer of Chuck & Buck, The School of Rock, and The Good Girl was set to direct the planned film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a twisted reworking of Jane Austen’s classic novel with flesh-eating undead monsters. But EW has confirmed White has now dropped out of directing the project due to his commitment to the HBO series Enlightenment. (Deadline first broke the news.) White had previously directed the 2007 indie comedy Year of the Dog, with Molly Shannon.

Enlightenment stars Laura Dern as a self-destructive woman trying to straighten out her life despite her own worst tendencies. White is the creator of the show and writes, directs, produces and co-stars. It is set to premiere on HBO in the fall, and the filmmaker felt he could not commit to both it and the Zombies movie.

David O. Russell previously left Zombies in the lurch when he backed out as director, and White was hired in November. A new filmmaker has not yet been selected, according to a representative of Lionsgate Films, which is releasing the project.

White released a statement, indicating no hostility toward Zombies: “I loved the project and looked forward to working with Lionsgate. Unfortunately, the timing could not be worked out. I wish them the best with the movie.”