Long before the Coronavirus pandemic came along and reduced the theatrical industry to a shell of its former self, literary adaptation Chaos Walking was already being predicted to bomb hard given the torturous production and sheer volume of writers and directors that it took to even bring it over the finish line.
Despite the presence of popular young stars Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in the lead roles with support coming from the solid and reliable likes of David Oyelowo, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas and Mads Mikkelsen, insiders and analysts had been predicting the movie to be a disaster for a long time. Adapted from Patrick Ness’ source novel, Charlie Kaufman, Jamie Linden, Lindsey Beer, Gary Spinelli, John Lee Hancock, Christopher Ford and even Ness all took a pass at the script by the time cameras started rolling.
Doug Liman was hired to direct the $100 million YA blockbuster, but after filming initially wrapped in November 2017, the cast and crew were reassembled for extensive reshoots, with Liman replaced by The Evil Dead‘s Fede Alvarez. However, due to Holland and Ridley’s prior franchise commitments, the additional photography didn’t happen until April 2019.
Chaos Walking was first announced to hit the big screen in March 2019, then pushed back multiple times before finally arriving two years later, where it died a death at the box office. The dystopian adventure barely made it past $20 million globally and was widely panned by critics, holding a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 22%. However, audiences have rated it a much higher 71%, which is probably one of the main reasons why it’s now one of the most popular titles on streaming since being made available to rent or purchase through VOD at the beginning of last month.