Daisy Ridley has shared the first image from the set of Chaos Walking, her upcoming science-fiction film based on the YA novel series by Patrick Ness. Doug Liman is directing from a script by American Made writer Gary Spinelli, along with Charlie Kaufman, John Lee Hancock, Lindsey Beer and the novel's author Ness.
Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series takes place in a far future world where all women have disappeared and all living things can experience each other's thoughts via a ceaseless stream of sounds and images called the Noise. Protagonist Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) lives in Prentisstown believing in his people's myths about the source of the Noise, and listening to the words of an insane preacher named Aaron (David Oyelowo). When Todd one day discovers a mysterious spot in the wilderness where the Noise is silenced, his frightened parents make him run away with only a map and a message. Soon Todd meets Viola Eade (Ridley), the girl who is the source of the silence, and the two must join forces to warn an incoming group of settlers about Aaron and the war-like people of Prentisstown.
Ridley posted a first look image from the set of Chaos Walking to her Facebook page (see the image below), showing herself and Holland looking like a pair of futuristic ragamuffins in the middle of an adventure in the wilderness. Ridley sports blonde hair and a facial abrasion, and wears a costume that might be right at home in Blade Runner, while Holland is dressed like a guy who paints houses for a living. The expectant expressions on the two actors' faces indicate that they are in the middle of a big meeting or revelation.
After the diminished returns for the last installment in the Hunger Games franchise and the total collapse of the Divergent series, it's safe to say the market for movie universes based on YA properties is at a low ebb right now. Nevertheless, Lionsgate is hoping that Chaos Walking can buck the trend and launch a new franchise centered around its hot young stars Holland and Ridley. On the surface, Chaos Walking sounds mostly the same as other YA series involving youthful heroes in futuristic/dystopian settings battling evil - but with its stable of interesting writers and a curveball-throwing director like Liman, perhaps it can strike a different chord than prior YA franchises and find a foothold at the box office.
Even if Chaos Walking doesn't work out, Ridley and Holland at least should be fine. Ridley is locked into playing Rey in the Star Wars movies probably for as long as she wants to keep the gig, and Holland too has a secure job for many years to come playing Peter Parker in the re-invigorated Spider-Man franchise. If Chaos Walking does work out, both actors will have a nice side-franchise to work on when they're not toiling away for Disney/Lucasfilm/Marvel/Sony.
Source: Daisy Ridley
- Chaos Walking (2019) release date: