The upcoming Doug Liman sci-fi film Chaos Walking is so bad that it’s unreleasable. That’s not my opinion, that’s the view of Lionsgate according to this new report from the Wall Street Journal. The Journal says the movie is a total disaster and is delayed in hopes of saving it.
The movie, about a future where all women have died and the surviving men are cursed with hearing each others’ thoughts, is based on the popular book series from Patrick Ness and will star Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. When the movie was coming together — back in the lovely halcyon days of 2016 — it felt like a guaranteed hit. It was being directed by an acclaimed (if often troubled filmmaker) and had two of the biggest young stars on the planet. But things went radio silent after production started and the release date was missed with no explanation of why. Well now we know why: the movie blows and will require a lot of work to fix it.
How much work? WSJ says Lionsgate will spend millions in reshoots in hopes of salvaging Walking, which was envisioned as the beginning of a trilogy. Will the movie be saved? Will it become a new successful franchise? We have to wait and see, although I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Lionsgate greenlit Chaos Walking at a very interesting time, right on the heels of the mega-hit Hunger Games series. The studio obviously wanted another money-making property like Games and was looking to Walking as the new, hot thing. All the puzzle pieces were in place: successful source material, hot young cast, hip director. But as today’s report proves, that doesn’t ensure success. Best case scenario is that Chaos Walking does come together and ends up being a hit. Worst case scenario is that it becomes yet another learning experience for Hollywood: there is no such thing as a sure thing. All the money and talent in the world means jack if you don’t put it together correctly and handle it well.
Meanwhile Holland and Ridley will just have to focus on their smaller, more independent projects. I’m sure you might hear of them someday.