Chaos Walking is as auspicious of a sci-fi film project as one can get, touting the headlining duo of Disney corporate tentpole stars in the celebrated current onscreen portrayer of Spider-Man, Tom Holland, and the central star of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, Daisy Ridley, with celebrated genre auteur Doug Liman in the director’s chair. However, the film has become shockingly snake-bit; something exemplified by a recent report that the delay-plagued $100 million-budgeted bonanza is currently in the midst of costly reshoots!
While the cameras started rolling for the Chaos Walking production back in the last quarter of 2017, once scheduled for a March 1, 2019 release date, it’s been a long time since there was any news on the project. Now, a recent report from The Wall Street Journal (via The Playlist,) has shed light on the film’s mysterious inertia, revealing that executives at studio Lionsgate have apparently deemed the film – as thus far shot – unreleasable!
As the report states of Chaos Walking’s current status:
“Lionsgate delayed the film’s planned March release and is about to begin three weeks of additional production, at a cost of millions more, in the hope that new scenes will improve its commercial prospects.”
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer further explains the reshoots, stating:
“We wouldn’t be shooting more if we didn’t think we could make this movie work.”
Chaos Walking is based on the 2008 YA book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness. The script passed through several sets of hands, notably Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘s Charlie Kaufman. The plot, set in the aftermath of an apocalyptic virus, follows Todd (Holland) a young man who lives on a quarantined planetary colony made up only of men. However, after something terrible forces him to flee with his dog, he encounters something he’s never seen before, a woman. Consequently, Todd and his mysterious new companion, Viola (Ridley), embark on a journey to discover the truth behind their state of life.
While the report does not get into specifics regarding the reason for this dubious state of a promising picture, it is worth noting that it’s hardly the first time that director Doug Liman’s name has been juxtaposed with behind-the-scene conflicts and – apropos the film’s title – chaos. Indeed, while Liman’s name is attached to acclaimed hits in the action and sci-fi genres such as Edge of Tomorrow, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Jumper, going back to the franchise-launching original, The Bourne Identity, he’s known to be a bit of an disorganized artiste who – often to the chagrin of studio bigwigs – flies by the seat of his pants, but ultimately ends up delivering the goods.
However, in the case of those films, the studios hadn’t already blown $100 million, only to endure a purportedly unwatchable preliminary cut. Indeed, the tumult-plagued Chaos Walking is proving to be Liman’s most logistically challenging directorial sprint. Depending on the extent of the reshoots, it’s entirely possible that Lionsgate ends up cutting its losses with the film, which means we could end up seeing something like “Netflix presents: Chaos Walking” in the near future.
In the meantime, you can catch Chaos Walking‘s stars in their next major movies, with Tom Holland’s starring role in Spider-Man: Far from Home set for July 5, and Daisy Ridley’s closing performance as Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker set for December 20.