Young-adult novel adaptations aren’t as hot as they used to be. (Just look at the dwindling Divergent franchise.) But Chaos Walking, based on the novel by Patrick Ness, will draw eyes for the casting alone: Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the new Star Wars films, already has the female lead, while the Marvel universe’s newly minted Spider-Man, Tom Holland, is in talks to join.
THR was the first to report the news of Holland, who’s in negotiations to star as the young boy in the center of the story. In the books, he’s named Todd Hewitt, who’s living in a world where all women have been killed by a germ and those who remain can hear and see into each other’s thoughts through what’s called Noise, a chaotic stream of sounds and images. When he discovers an awful secret about his town, he flees with his dog, Manchee, and encounters a strange girl (Ridley) on the road.
If the faces in front of the camera weren’t enough to pique your interest, let’s move behind it. Charlie Kaufman, who penned the screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind and co-directed and co-wrote the beautiful stop-motion animated Anomalisa, worked on the script for Chaos Walking, along with Jamie Linden.
Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) is on board to direct, and then there’s the source material to consider: Ness is also the guy who wrote the book A Monster Calls and the screenplay for its movie adaptation starring Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson, and Sigourney Weaver.
Chaos Walking is made up of a series of books and short stories, beginning with The Knife of Never Letting Go. So, there’s a chance to branch out into another franchise, assuming audiences are drawn to the first. By the time it hits theaters, Holland will have already appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, If it gets a later release in 2019, Ridley’s Rey will also have moved one step closer to becoming a full-fledged Jedi in Star Wars: Episode VIII.