Russell to Direct ‘Zombies’? Plus: ‘Hobbit’ Rumors

Last week it was reported that Natalie Portman would play the lead in and produce the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Yesterday, citing “a very reliable (and handsome) inside source,” Pajiba reported that David O. Russell is coming on to direct and adapt. Meanwhile, the Tobey-Maguire-as-Bilbo-Baggins rumor has been denied.

Russell has finished shooting The Fighter with Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg, and his derailed comedy Nailed, which shut down production four times, is still listed by IMDB as being in postproduction. He’s got no less than seven other projects said to be in development.

Over in Hobbit-ville, a report by Latino Review said that early-stage talks are ongoing between CAA and the producers of Guillermo del Toro‘s Hobbit for Tobey Maguire to star as Bilbo Baggins.

Both The One Ring and Movieline reported later, however, that the rumor was not true. “This is false!” Maguire’s publicist Kelly Bush told Movieline. The One Ring wrote, “Our sources indicate this rumor is NOT valid, again, this is NOT true according to our sources.”