Tom Holland has two new movies out this month: the first, Cherry, arrived in theaters this past Friday (Feb. 26) ahead of a March 12 premiere on Apple TV+. It’s the first movie directed by Anthony and Joe Russo since Avengers: Endgame and has gotten a fair amount of attention and press.
The second, Chaos Walking, will show up in theaters this coming Friday (March 5) and is an entirely different story altogether, Chaos Walking has gotten plenty of press–but all for the wrong reasons.
Based on the novel The Knife of Letting Go by Patrick Ness, the first in a trilogy of books that is known overall as Chaos Walking, the Doug Liman-directed film also stars Daisy Ridley of Star Wars fame, Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One), Demian Bichir (The Midnight Sky), and Cynthia Erivo (The Outsider), among others.
The story takes place on a distant planet colonized by humans, where all the women have died or disappeared and all the men are afflicted with what is known as “the Noise,” a condition through which everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. Holland’s character, Todd, encounters Ridley’s Viola after she crash lands on the planet, becoming not only the first woman Todd has ever seen but the first human on the planet in a long time not affected by “the Noise.”
Lionsgate acquired the rights to the book in 2011 and it spent the next six years in development before finally going in front of cameras in (incredibly) August 2017.
Three and a half years later, following poor test screenings of the initial cut, extensive and costly reshoots in April 2019 reportedly assisted by a different director (Fede Alvarez of Don’t Breathe fame), and the delays brought on by the pandemic, Chaos Walking is finally coming out this week and Holland tells us he simply hopes people enjoy it after all this time.
“It was a labor of love, and we all worked really hard,” he says. “It was a constant uphill climb. It was a really hard film and hard story to tell.”
He continues, “It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been working on it for years. I haven’t really been a part of the process for a while. I haven’t seen the film for about a year maybe, so I’m sure it’s probably changed quite a lot, but I had an amazing time making it. Doug Liman is a wonderful, wonderful bloke and someone who I hope that I’ll be friends with for a very long time. I’m just excited to see it, really.”
How much of Liman’s original vision remains in the film is a question yet to be answered, but the director–whose hits include The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow–often seems to get involved with films that end up going over budget, needing reshoots, or extensive post-production work.
The difficulties of launching and marketing an expensive new movie while audiences are still slow to return to movie theaters (many of which are still closed) may also hurt Chaos Walking’s chances.
Holland, meanwhile, has moved on since completing his work on the film, with Cherry out now, Uncharted in post-production and filming in progress on his third solo outing as Marvel’s Peter Parker, Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is due out this December.
Chaos Walking opens in theaters this Friday (March 5).