$100m Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley movie 'Chaos Walking' was thought 'unreleasable' by studio

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in Chaos Walking (Credit: Lionsgate)

Tom Holland is currently wading through woodland swamps in Canada doing re-shoots for his next movie, Chaos Walking, helmed by Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman.

Adapted from A Monster Calls writer Patrick Ness’s trilogy of books, it centres on a world on the brink of destruction where there are no women, and people can communicate with living things telepathically. It was originally slated for release in March 2019, but that date came and went without an update.

Now, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, an early version of the high-concept movie, said to have cost $100 million (£77 million) already, was ‘unreleasable’.

Lionsgate is the studio behind it, the indie responsible for the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, which is now in need of a significant hit after being involved in a series of high profile flops, including the latest iteration of Robin Hood and most recently the reboot of Hellboy.

But according to the Journal, Chaos Walking may be in trouble too, with extensive reshoots needed for a project that has been called ‘a major challenge’.


It’s said that an early cut of the film – filmed in 2017 – which also features Star Wars stars Daisy Ridley and Mads Mikkelsen, alongside David Oyelowo, ‘turned out so poorly it was deemed unreleasable by executives who watched initial cuts last year, according to current and former employees’.

Elsewhere, the article reads: “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. ‘We wouldn’t be shooting more if we didn’t think we could make this movie work,’ said [Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer].”


The already has six writers on board, including Ness, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’s Charlie Kaufman, and John Lee Hancock, writer of The Blind Side and Snow White and the Huntsman.

Meanwhile, Liman is notorious for his chaotic style of directing, which has seen many of his movies go way over budget.

The first Bourne movie had to undergo extensive reshoots, the chairman of Universal Pictures saying at the time ‘for many involved with Doug on Bourne, the experience was too painful to contemplate ever doing it again’.

The producer of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie actioner Mr & Mrs Smith, Akiva Goldsmith, called Liman ‘a self- and semi-managed tornado’, and his methods ‘effective chaos’.

Variety also reported ahead of his movie Jumper on his ‘disorganised… erratic shooting process’ that forces his ‘screenwriters, producers and crews to work long hours of overtime and cost the studios millions in budget overages’.

Meanwhile, on making Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise, Liman proceeded with filming the movie despite the film not having an ending, and was still finishing the script during principal photography.

The movie is now reportedly due some time in 2020.