Chaos Walking is an upcoming American science fiction action-adventure film directed by Doug Liman from a screenplay by Patrick Ness and Christopher Ford. It is based on the sci-fi trilogy Chaos Walking, adapting its first book, 2008’s The Knife of Never Letting Go by Ness. The film mainly stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, with Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, and David Oyelowo in supporting roles.

Announced in 2011, Chaos Walking had undergone several rewrites from a first script draft written by Charlie Kaufman, with Jamie Linden, John Lee Hancock, Gary Spinelli, Lindsey Beer, Christopher Ford and Ness revising the screenplay further. Liman was later announced as the director in 2016, with principal photography fully started and finished around 2017. Originally set to release on March 1, 2019, it was removed from schedule to accommodate the films’ reshoots in April 2019 following poor test screenings from audiences.

Chaos Walking is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on January 22, 2021, by Lionsgate.

Premise

In the not too distant future, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) discovers Viola (Daisy Ridley), a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “the Noise” – a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened – and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets.

— Lionsgate

Chaos Walking Cast

  • Daisy Ridley as Viola Eade, a woman without Noise who is the key to unlocking secrets for the New World.
  • Tom Holland as Todd Hewitt, a boy living on the distant planet of New World.
  • Mads Mikkelsen as David Prentiss, the cruel Mayor of Prentisstown.
  • Demián Bichir as Ben Moore, one of Todd’s adoptive fathers.
  • Cynthia Erivo as Hildy Black, an important ally to Todd and Viola, and the leader of Farbranch, a peaceful settlement in the New World that is forced to take a stand against Mayor Prentiss and his growing army.
  • Nick Jonas as David “Davy” Prentiss Jr., the Mayor’s son and a soldier.
  • David Oyelowo as Aaron, a violent priest in the New World who seeks after Todd and Viola.
  • Kurt Sutter as Cillian Boyd, one of Todd’s adoptive fathers.
  • Óscar Jaenada as Wilf, an ignored and excluded drifter who becomes instrumental in Todd and Viola’s plot against Mayor Prentiss.
  • Marc Primeau as Whaler

Production

In October 2011, Lionsgate acquired worldwide distribution rights to a film adaptation of Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy, to be produced by Doug Davison’s production company Quadrant Pictures. In 2012, Lionsgate then hired Charlie Kaufman to write the first draft of the screenplay. He then subsequently left after that, confirmed by himself during a Q&A panel at the 2016 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. That draft would later be revised by Jamie Linden, Lindsey Beer, Gary Spinelli, John Lee Hancock, Christopher Ford and Ness himself.

Deadline reported in 2013 that Robert Zemeckis was being considered as the director, but apparently nothing came to fruition. On June 10, 2016, Doug Liman was in talks to direct the film. On August 4, 2016, it was reported that Daisy Ridley joined the cast. She was a fan of the books, and was announced to be playing Viola. On November 28, 2016, Tom Holland joined the cast to play Todd.

On July 20, 2017, it was announced that Mads Mikkelsen joined the cast for the film as the villainous mayor. In August 2017, Demián Bichir, Kurt Sutter, Nick Jonas and David Oyelowo joined the cast. In September 2017, Cynthia Erivo joined the cast. In October 2017, Óscar Jaenada joined the cast. Principal photography on Chaos Walking began in Montreal, Quebec on August 7, 2017, with additional uncredited financing from Bron Creative. The film was also shot in Scotland and Iceland. Principal photography wrapped in November 2017.

In April 2018, it was reported that Chaos Walking was scheduled to have several weeks of reshoots in late 2018 or early 2019, following poor test screenings. Owing to Ridley’s filming commitments to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Holland’s to Spider-Man: Far From Home, the reshoots were not able to begin until April 2019, with Fede Álvarez directing them. These reshoots, which took place in Atlanta and lasted through May, added an additional $15 million to the film’s budget. In September 2020, Ness and Ford were given final credit on the screenplay.

Release

Chaos Walking is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on January 22, 2021, by Lionsgate. It was previously scheduled to be released on March 1, 2019, but it was delayed to accommodate the film’s reshoots.

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