There are a handful of Arnold Schwarzenegger franchise installments in some stage of development right now; Terminator: Genisys opens in Summer 2015 and Legend of Conan may start filming next spring, while The Expendables 3 hits U.S. theaters this Friday. However, upcoming Schwarzenegger project Maggie doesn’t just read as an intriguingly different offering from the icon – it also has potential as a worthwhile, self-described “genre-blending” piece of storytelling on its own.

Maggie – title sequence designer Henry Hobson’s feature-length directing debut – will premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival next month – further evidence that this isn’t your average Schwarzenegger vehicle. The first official images from the film has been released online, in conjunction with the announcement concerning its TIFF debut.

The Maggie script was penned by John Scott 3 and made the 2011 Hollywood Black List of Best Unproduced Screenplays. Schwarzenegger costars as Wade, a Midwest U.S. farmer who stays with his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) even while “she slowly turns into a cannibalistic zombie.” Scott’s Maggie storyline appears to maintain a smaller, more intimate scale throughout, unlike other recent additions to the zombie apocalypse sub-genre (be it the World War Z film adaptation or The Walking Dead TV series).

CLICK FOR FULL-SIZE VERSION

Hobson, as a visual artist, is renowned for his credits designs, be they featured in such blockbusters as Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Snow White and the Huntsman or the post-apocalypse video game The Last of Us (which is being turned into a movie). The first screenshots from Maggie include some eye-catching imagery and what seem to be meaningful story moments captured by Hobson, as well as cinematographer Lukas Ettlin (The Lincoln Lawyer).

As such, Maggie – costarring Joely Richardson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Laura Cayouette (Django Unchained) – appears to fully move Schwarenegger out of his studio-backed action niche and into drama/indie territory. It’ll be interesting to see how Arnold handles the transition – and to find out what the early critical reaction is, once the feature has made its film festival circuit debut in September.

We’ll let you know when Maggie secures an official U.S. theatrical release date.

Source: TIFF Festival [via CBM]