The trend for big movie adaptations for YA novels seems to be on the wane, as the Peter Jackson-produced Mortal Engines failed to make much of an impression last December. However, Lionsgate must have had big hopes for Chaos Walking, the teen-oriented sci-fi from Edge of Tomorrow’s Doug Liman that counts Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley and Mads Mikkelsen in its cast with a script partially written by the acclaimed Charlie Kaufman.
With all these big names involved it’s a surprise, then, that the movie has been hit by a series of delays. For example, it was supposed to drop in theaters this March but Lionsgate quietly pulled it from its schedule. Thanks to Holland’s Instagram, we know that it’s currently engaged in reshoots, but what exactly is going on with Chaos Walking?
Well, The Wall Street Journal spoke with studio execs and the truth is not very encouraging. They revealed that the project has become a “major challenge” as production has already racked up a $100 million budget without reshoot costs. What’s more, the first edit “turned out so poorly that it was deemed unreleasable by executives who watched initial cuts last year, according to current and former employees.” The bright side though is that Lionsgate still believes the project can be saved. “We wouldn’t be shooting more if we didn’t think we could make this movie work,” said CEO Jon Feltheimer.
Based on The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first in the bestselling book series by Patrick Ness, Chaos Walking takes place in a world in which a virus has wiped out all women and left the all-male population telepathic. The story kicks off when Todd (Holland) discovers Viola (Ridley), apparently the last woman alive, causing the pair to be pursued by Mikkelsen’s evil Mayor Prentiss.
There’s a lot of potential in the movie, so hopefully these reshoots are able to significantly improve things and the title Chaos Walking doesn’t turn out to be indicative of the finished product when it finally arrives in cinemas sometime in 2020.