Charlie Kaufman Adapting YA Series Chaos Walking


Jun 20, 2008
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Oscar Winning Screen Writer Charlie Kaufman(Adaptation,Being John Malkovich,Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) Is Gonna Adapt Chaos Walking

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has high hopes that the Patrick Ness young adult novel series Chaos Walking has the potential to become another futuristic Hunger Games-esque franchise. While the mission on most of those book to movie sensations is to stick close to the books, Lionsgate has done an intriguing thing on Chaos Walking: they’ve set Charlie Kaufman to adapt the first book in the series.

The Carnegie Medal winning book is set in a dystopian future with humans colonizing a distant earth-like planet. When an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, privacy vanishes, chaos ensues, and a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race. Only young Todd Hewitt holds the key to stopping planet wide-destruction. Doug Davison’s Quadrant Pictures is producing and I heard that Alli Shearmur will likely board the project as producer as well.

Kaufman seems an inspired choice. His previous adaptations of the Chuck Barris memoir Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and the Susan Orlean book The Orchid Thief (which became the Meryl Streep-starrer Adaptation) took the subject matter into all kinds of imaginative directions not found in the pages of those books.

Kaufman, who just made a deal with Grand Central Publishing to write his own first novel, is separately working on directing his script, Frank or Francis. It’s a Hollywood satire set to music where a film director feuds with a blogger, and Nicolas Cage, Steve Carell, Elizabeth Banks, Catherine Keener, Jack Black, Kevin Kline and Paul Reubens are all circling roles. Kaufman is repped by WME.
I have heard about this YA book series but haven't read it yet. But Kaufman certainly got my interest. I just hope this doesn't affect Frank or Francis in any way.
I hope this turns into a movie of Kaufman and his problem of developing a franchise. :o

Really, it should be interesting to see Kaufman tackle sci-fi. I just hope they find a capable director to do his writing justice.
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Well I see an Adaptation 2 on the way.
Robert Zemeckis in Negotiations to Direct ‘Chaos Walking’ for Lionsgate (Exclusive)

After proving he’s still got the live-action touch with the modestly budgeted “Flight,” Robert Zemeckis may soon be back in the tentpole business, as he’s in negotiations to direct Lionsgate’s latest young-adult sci-fi movie “Chaos Walking,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker has spent the last several months weighing the possibility of tackling “Chaos Walking,” which Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is adapting from Patrick Ness’ bestselling young-adult trilogy. An individual familiar with Zemeckis’ plans confirms he’s in negotiations but cautions that no deal is in place — though a studio insider is optimistic one could close before the end of the month.

Story is set in a dystopian future where humans have colonized a distant Earth-like planet. When an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, privacy vanishes and chaos ensues, leading a corrupt autocrat to threaten to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race.

With “The Hunger Games” coming to a close in 2015, Lionsgate has high hopes for “Chaos Walking” and believes the project has the potential to launch another teen-friendly sci-fi franchise in the vein of “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” Unlike those series and “Twilight,” however, the protagonist in “Chaos Walking” is a young male, Todd Hewitt, who holds the key to stopping planet-wide destruction and saving mankind.

Ness’ “Chaos Walking” series features three books — 2008′s “The Knife of Never Letting Go,” 2009′s “The Ask and the Answer” and 2010′s “Monsters of Men.” The author’s latest YA book, “More Than This,” was published on Tuesday by Candlewick Press.

“Flight” soared in theaters, grossing $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 such as “Beowulf,” “The Polar Express” and “A Christmas Carol” — as well as producing “Mars Needs Moms.”

Recently, Zemeckis and his ImageMovers partner Jack Rapke have been developing an adaptation of Elizabeth L. Silver’s murder mystery novel “The Execution of Noa P. Singleton” and Nathaniel Halpern’s script “Rose,” which is set up at Focus Features.

Also Read: Next ‘Twilight’? Lionsgate Nabs Movie Rights to ‘Chaos Walking’ Young Adult Trilogy

Zemeckis is the Oscar-winning director of “Forrest Gump,” as well as “Back to the Future,” “Cast Away” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Zemeckis, who left CAA in April, is represented by attorney Cheryl Snow.
‘Chaos Walking’: Tom Holland May Star Opposite Daisy Ridley in Doug Liman’s YA Adaptation
Doug Liman is on board to direct the YA post-apocalyptic thriller.
Tom Holland, who is playing Spider-Man in next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, is in negotiations to join Daisy Ridley in Lionsgate’s post-apocalyptic thriller Chaos Walking.

Doug Liman is directing the project, an adaptation of the best-selling YA novel by Patrick Ness.

The story takes place in a world where all women have been killed by a germ and all living creatures can hear one another's thoughts in a stream of images, words and sounds called Noise.

Holland would star as a boy forced to flee his town with his loyal dog and who comes a strange sight: a girl (Ridley).

Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) worked on the script as did Jamie Linden (Money Monster).

Doug Davison, who produced the Liman-directed Tom Cruise starrer Mena, is producing alongside Allison Shearmur (Rogue One, Cinderella).

Holland made his feature debut with the tsunami drama The Impossible and made a splashy superhero debut as Peter Parker in this year’s Captain America: Civil War. Earlier in November he signed on for a key role opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon in the period drama The Current War.
Yeesh did Doug Liman really screw this up so badly? Or is it just execs meddling too much? How bad could it have been to warrant so much extra expenditure?
Lionsgate needs to stop trying to compete with Disney by making these over expensive films that only flop and go back to their Saw roots. The Blumhouse model is brilliant. Make low budget film for lower risk with a higher return. You do five or six of these a year and you can equate to a profitable year. I don't know why other studios don't do this either.
How do these movies get these massive budgets? Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, and Mads Mikkelsen can’t be that expensive, and how much special effects budget does something like this need?
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It's a good book but it's one where the high-concept premise (everyone on this planet can hear each other's thoughts) works because of the narration, so it was probably pretty difficult to adapt. I will also add that the second half of the book is not as good as the first half, which is excellent. I have not read the rest of the trilogy.
Man, it’s going to be disappointing if Ridley’s first big role post-Star Wars is this apparently unsalvageable dump.
She and Holland filmed this like three years ago or something.
January 22, 2021

Not a super encouraging release date.
Did they do extensive reshoots? I wonder how bad can this be.

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