Robert Zemeckis negotiating to direct Chaos Walking. Director Robert Zemeckis, best known for Back to the Future and Forrest Gump, is in talks to direct screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation of the young adult novel Chaos Walking (2014). It’s been a while since Zemeckis was a box office and awards show powerhouse, but Flight, last year’s Denzel Washington star vehicle, brought the man who had been lost in motion-capture purgatory back to the fore.
Chaos Walking is a the young adult novel trilogy that Lionsgate hopes will be a viable market replacement once The Hunger Games finishes in 2015. The series, by Patrick Ness, is the usual fare – a teenager coming to grips with themselves must also take their unique place as the savior of the world. The outstanding difference here is that the hero is a boy, a change of pace from the Katniss Everdeens and Bella Swans we’re used to. The gist is that in the dystopian future, an infection called The Noise makes all thought audible and chaos ensues.
The script seems right in Kaufman’s wheelhouse, who’s made cacophonous, off-beat hits like Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. Perhaps the powerhouse team of the quirky, brilliant writer and the great director back on the rise can make something that feels so standard a little bit special. Flight didn’t have tremendous expectations before its release last year, but a movie where Denzel is basically an unlikable drunk that nearly killed a plane full of people turned to gold in Zemeckis’ hands. The modestly budgeted film grossed “$161 million worldwide on a $31 million budget, and marked a return to live-action filmmaking after Zemeckis spent years directing motion-capture animated films.”
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