Director takes over after Russell ankles Lionsgate pic

Mike White has signed on to direct Lionsgate’s “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” based on the offbeat novel by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Project mixes Jane Austen’s 1813 classic “Pride and Prejudice,” with zombies. Story’s set in an alternate version of 19th-century England that features deadly ancestors roaming the countryside amid the outbreak of a virus as Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters search for romance.

Austen was listed as the co-author with Grahame-Smith when the novel was published in April 2009 by Quirk Books.

David O. Russell had been attached to direct but ankled earlier this month.

Lionsgate acquired rights to “Zombies” last year. Project’s also produced by Darko Entertainment.

White directed 2007′s dark comedy “Year of the Dog” from his own script. His writing credits include “School of Rock” and “Orange County.”

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