A decade after starting work on Chaos Walking, Lionsgate is finally set to release it in theaters… now that there aren’t enough open theaters to show off what a shit sandwich this thing likely is. So here’s the trailer.
Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley star in the adaptation of Patrick Ness’s eponymous young-adult sci-fi series’ first book. Ridley crash lands on a planet where the women are all gone and the men are infected with “the Noise,” putting all their inner thoughts on display. It’s basically a gender-swapped Y the Last Man meets a gender-swapped What Women Want (oh, right, we did that). The doomed production will probably end up the more interesting story, though.
Chaos Walking began incredibly auspiciously, with Charlie goddamn Kaufman writing the script. When he left the project, his draft got passed around to less notable screenwriters Jamie Linden, Lindsey Beer, Gary Spinelli, John Lee Hancock, and Christopher Ford, before finally ending up with the author himself (only he and Ford are credited). Director Doug Liman wrapped production on the film in 2017, and soon after it was shown to test audiences, who thought it was just as shitty as a film with seven writers, many uncredited, often is.
Having already poured $85 million into this thing, Lionsgate figured they may as well try to fix it with reshoots. But at this point it was already spring of 2018, and Ridley and Holland were off shooting their successful franchises, so now they have to wait another year to get them back together. By then, Liman was either busy with the YouTube series he apparently made or just didn’t give a shit, because Evil Dead‘s Fede Álvarez ended up directing the new footage. In the end, it ended up costing the studio a cool $100 million.
While it’s possible Lionsgate was finally able to salvage the project, the smart thing to do is to skip it and demand to see the Liman cut. Just relentlessly campaign for them to #ReleaseTheLimanCut. It will be a fun quarantine project, and seeing a trainwreck of a movie would be infinitely more entertaining than another mediocre young-adult sci-fi dystopia.
This betrayal of the director’s original vision is set to hit theaters January 22, 2021. Doug Liman’s Chaos Walking TBD.