Daisy Ridley may be playing the protagonist in the third Star Wars movie trilogy (the still-somewhat mysterious Rey), but that doesn’t mean the up-and-comer is only working in a galaxy far, far away. On the contrary, Ridley is keeping exceptionally busy and embracing a nice variety of roles; including, in such upcoming projects as the family-friendly live-action/CGI Peter Rabbit movie, Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie murder mystery novel adaptation Murder on the Orient Express, and author Patrick Ness’ young adult sci-fi book trilogy-turned film adaptation, Chaos Walking.
Chaos Walking the movie is based primarily on the first installment in Ness’ series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, and takes place in a world where women have seemingly been wiped out a germ – one that also left the men of the world only able to communicate by listening to one another’s thoughts in a stream of images, words and sounds (a method of communication known as simply “Noise”). Ridley is costarring as Viola: a young woman who mysteriously appears one day, naturally shaking up the status quo of this world in the process.
THR is reporting that Tom Holland is in talks to costar in Chaos Walking as Tom Hewitt: a young man and the one who first learns of Viola’s existence. Holland, like Ridley, is now the star of his own major franchise: having debuted as the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War this year, ahead of his leading role in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. The actor is also like Ridley in the sense that he’s continuing to embrace a variety of roles outside of his big franchise, including a role in next year’s drama The Lost City of Z.
The Chaos Walking novel series embraces a number of well-trod young adult dystopia tropes, in terms of its world-building approach and story/character elements alike. That alone could be interpreted as a warning sign for the film adaptation’s commercial prospects, in a time when YA book-turned movie properties are seeing a decline in popularity (with an increasing number of YA properties flocking to TV instead). Holland and Ridley being onboard certainly won’t hurt the movie’s box office prospects though; nor is having two talented youngsters set to play the leads something that bodes poorly for Chaos Walking, on paper.
Meanwhile, behind the camera, Chaos Walking seems to be in good shape. It features an adapted script co-written by Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa) and Jamie Linden (Money Monster); not to mention, Doug Liman of The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow fame, is onboard as director. Coupled with Holland and Ridley starring, as well as the movie having some breathing room between its likely 2018-19 theatrical release date and the recent wave of YA sci-fi films (The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Divergent), and Chaos Walking has the potential to be one YA literary franchise that successfully makes the jump to the big screen.
Chaos Walking does not have an official release date yet. We will let you know when that changes.