Stay strong, Chaos Walking fans, one day our film will come – maybe.
The Chaos Walking adaption has been a long time in the making. The first book in the series by Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go, was published in 2008 by Walker Books. In 2011, Lionsgate acquired the rights to a film adaption of the entire trilogy. As a massive fan of the series I, like many others, was excited. The original story was well-written, fleshed out, exciting, all the ingredients of a stellar film version were there.
image via the scroll
What’s more, news about the adaption was gaining traction, especially after some of the cast was announced. Tom Holland was brought on board as Todd, the story’s 12-year-old protagonist, alongside Daisy Ridley as Viola. Filming started in August 2017 in Montréal, Québec, with a tentative release date of 2019 that quickly became 2020. The movie underwent re-shoots after the first cut was considered “unrealeasable” and since then, the fate of the film has been somewhat uncertain.
A big part of the issue with the re-shoots lies in the actors’ schedules. For one, Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland have had a busy few years. Between saving distant galaxies and the less distant Manhattan as Rey and Spiderman, both were unavailable for shooting for a number of months. When they returned, it seemed that making audiences believe either of them were in their early teens would be no small feat.
Image via variety
The real kicker of the saga is that the times have simply changed. In 2011, dystopian fiction was huge. The world was ending left, right and center! Katniss was volunteering for The Hunger Games, Tris was jumping on trains, Bella was… well we’re still not entirely sure what Bella was doing. Point is, the tidal wave of dystopia has since passed and it simply isn’t the same market that it once was. Allegiant, the third film adapted from the Divergent series, didn’t receive a great critical response and Rotten Tomatoes awarded it a meager 11%. Ouch. The final movie was scrapped, too.
A Chaos Walking film could have been a massive success back in the era of apocalypses, factions and romance-against-the-odds. Now, it may not have the same appeal. Fans of Ness’ work may fill cinema seats but the question of profit is sticky. Between re-shoots and the constant pushing back of the release date, Lionsgate may find themselves with long term consequences.
The good news is that fans remain hopeful that the film will eventually see the light of day. Plus, the constant change in release date means that traction is still there as audiences wait for a final deadline. If nothing else, the drama comes as a great excuse to re-read the series from the beginning.
featured image via imdb
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