Lionsgate Adapting ‘Chaos Walking’ Trilogy for the Big Screen

Published 4 years ago by

chaos walking trilogy lionsgate Lionsgate Adapting Chaos Walking Trilogy for the Big Screen

The first of potentially four movie adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult (YA) book series, The Hunger Games, will be released by Lionsgate in Spring 2012. However, the studio is already moving forward with another adaptation of a popular literary franchise: Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy.

Lionsgate has officially acquired the screen rights to the three novels – “The Knife of Never Letting Go”, “The Ask and the Answer”, and “Monsters of Men” – in Ness’ literary series. Doug Davison (How To Train Your Dragon, Abduction) is attached to produce the film adaptation(s) through his Quadrant Pictures.

Chaos Walking and Hunger Games are only a couple of several YA novel-turned-movie franchises hoping to replicate the success of The Twilight Saga – which truly demonstrated the lucrative nature of adapting entries in that literary genre – especially ones that involve either sci-fi and/or fantasy elements.

Here is how Lionsgate describes Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy, in its official press release:

The Carnegie Medal winning books are 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 in an instant. In the ensuing chaos, a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race, and only young Todd Hewitt holds the key to stopping planet wide-destruction.

“Although these stories are set in a critical time in the future, they speak volumes about what is happening all over the world today, and about the power of young people to challenge the status quo and change the course of our future,” said Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate’s President of Motion Picture Production and Development, who will be overseeing the production for the studio, with Senior Vice President of Motion Picture Production Jim Miller. “We feel privileged to be bringing these powerful and exquisite books to cinematic life.”

Based on that description alone, those unfamiliar with Ness’ literature can see why it has prompted comparisons to Collins’ Hunger Games novels (see: the dystopian futuristic setting, totalitarian government, messiah-like protagonist in the form of a young adult, etc.).

The Hunger Games Trailer Lionsgate Adapting Chaos Walking Trilogy for the Big Screen

Jennifer Lawrence in 'The Hunger Games'

Hunger Games isn’t the only contender watching Twilight‘s throne after the second half of the franchise finale, Breaking Dawn, hits theaters in November 2012. Screen Gems is still working on an adaptation of the Mortal Instruments series and Legendary Pictures hopes that The Seventh Son – a cinematic treatment of the first novel in Joseph Delaney’s Wardstone Chronicles, “The Spook’s Apprentice” – will also prove to be popular.

While the success of the Harry Potter franchise is partly responsible (or, rather, to blame) for all these YA-book-turned-film projects, Twilight‘s popularity is arguably the main culprit. The latter franchise not only caters directly to the teenage demographic – its influence on the tone and style of its peers is also readily apparent. Case in point: for every supernatural romance literary series that panders directly to the Twilight crowd, there’s at least one (like The Hunger Games) which is thematically fashioned  - either intentionally or coincidentally – as the antithesis of author Stephenie Meyer’s books.

With that said – until we have more information about the creative talent that will be involved with adapting the Chaos Walking novels to film form, it’s best to not jump to any conclusions about whether this will be a hit – or one of the many YA adaptations that fail to become profitable.


We shall keep you posted on the status of the Chaos Walking adaptation(s) as this story develops.

Source: Lionsgate (via Deadline)

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  1. Ive never heard of these books. :/

    But I love book adaptations so.. :)

  2. Eh, they’re pretty good. Judging from the rest of the press release…

    “Critics have hailed the trilogy as “one of the outstanding literary achievements of the present century,” (The Irish Times), and described it as “furiously paced, terrifying, exhilarating and heartbreaking,” (The Sunday Telegraph.). The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan recognizes the series’ gripping quality and broad appeal, saying “I would press the Chaos Walking trilogy urgently on anyone, anyone at all.”

    But The Wall Street Journal makes the most apt reference given that the series has found a home at Lionsgate, noting that “With its dark tone, violence, and readerly fanaticism, the book belongs firmly beside Suzanne Collins’s work.”

  3. I love this trilogy it was honestly one of the best series of books i’v ever read full stop. However i’m weary about it being adapted.

    My first worry, is how would they do the Noise, because in the book its an ugly, slightly skin crawling mess, so i hope they dont just change it to an ability to read minds.
    Two, they better not age Todd upwards so they can increase the teen angst, that would annoy the hell out of me.

    Either way i wish Lionsgate luck, and hope it doesnt turn out to be another Eragon or Northern Lights.

  4. Just to say that I’ve read both the Hunger Games and Chaos Walking and they are only superficially similar. Deep down Chaos walking is an amazing tale of growing up filled with deep philosophical questions of the conscience. Hunger games is more about deep routed corruption and struggles less about whether killing is wrong. Both are good books but in my opinion ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go’ is way better (p.s Watch out for the dog Manchee – He is pretty awesome!)

  5. I love you lionsgate!!! Firdt te hungrr games which are u favourite books and now this!!!!!!! This trilogy is the best book ive ever read. Best. 1000000% fantastic and amazing, i cant tell u how excited i am.

  6. Heck yeah!! I love the Chaos Walking Trilogy!It is, by far, the best books I have ever read, for many reasons. The characters are just phenomeonal! Todd is somewhat of a jerk, but he’s still awesome! And Manchee! *sobs* Manchee is just boss. Not only that, but the meaning and truth behind the book is so deep. There are many instances while I’m reading(or re-reading) this series when I’ve had to stop and ponder about the life lesson behind the words. Patrick Ness is better than Suzanne Collins, sorry :3 just an opinion. Just don’t hate on me.

  7. Is it just me that gets really protective over books I love? Like, there’s part of me that doesn’t want chaos walking to turn into the next hunger games. It’s special to me. I know that it’s completely ridiculous and irrational, but I hope the movie gets cancelled. Like, how would lionsgate portray the noise? They would probably make Todd a lot older,too.

  8. still waiting );

    • A part of me like that other comment doesn’t want any one to adapt this book series because the book opens so much room for imagination, and arguably that’s one of its quality features. Not to mention noise, since it doesn’t actually exist and the readers perception of it is subjective, how can any one broadly capture it without be objective enough and true to the book to portray it on screen. I sincerely hope they have Patrick Ness himself in there giving pointers on the series. I can see it being very successful, but only if they do it right. Specially with this silly splitting the last book into two thing. Well hoping for the best.