Word on the Web is that filmmaker Mike White could get a guernsey to direct PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. So who is Mike White? Let AccessReel help you out. Let’s get this out of the way right from the beginning; he is not “White” Mike the mid-level drug dealer of THE WIRE Season 2. Don’t worry, it’s an easy mistake that anyone could have made.
White is a man who has toiled the back rooms and indie film festivals of American show business. He has been a writer, producer, actor and director. His father the Reverend Mel White was also a writer, however he ghostwrote speeches for iconic US religious right figures such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. Then in the 1980s, the Reverend eventually came out as gay and became an activist creating an organisation that opposed the ideas and people he had once supported. This is the fascinating background that the younger White springs from. In fact he and father Mel were a team in the 2009 season of THE AMAZING RACE. They were eliminated in the seventh round and got as far as Thailand.
But where do you know Mike White from? Possibly from one of his acting roles. Maybe the gas station owner who turns into zombie in ZOMBIELAND, but more likely you remember him as Ned Schneebly, friend of the Jack Black character and married to the Sarah Silverman character in SCHOOL OF ROCK.
White also wrote SCHOOL OF ROCK which was one of a number of projects he and friend Jack Black collaborated on. For a time they had a company called – what else? – Black and White. White’s strongest credits are as a screenwriter. He has written for the television series FREAKS AND GEEKS, DAWSON’S CREEK and penned the movies ORANGE COUNTY, THE GOOD GIRL (which starred Jennifer Anniston), NACHO LIBRE and YEAR OF THE DOG.
His connection to comedy is obvious and no doubt is one of the reasons he is being considered for the PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (P&P&Z) job, although his main directorial credit is YEAR OF THE DOG the Molly Shannon comedy drama about a woman whose life changes when she loses her best friend, her dog Pencil.
There are a number of other contenders for P&P&). Better credentialed directors such as Mike Newell (HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE) and Matt Reeves (LET ME IN). Will a director with a stronger track record get the gig? Or will the powers that be get a little experimental and give the job to the guy who wrote this line for Jack Black in ORANGE COUNTY. “Do you want me to get naked and start the revolution?” If I had a vote, it would go to Mr. White.