Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct YA Adaptation ‘Chaos Walking’

By September 11, 2013


Robert Zemeckis has had a fascinating career path. He directed classics like Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and he won an Oscar for helming Forrest Gump in 1994. After directing Castaway in 2000, the filmmaker moved into the motion capture arena with films like The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol. While pushing the industry forward, those movies were not nearly as successful (critically or commercially) as his previous efforts, and many began to wonder if he’d lost his touch behind the camera. Mars Needs Moms was such a disaster that it caused his production company to be shut down, and the film became one of the biggest flops in Hollywood history. He returned to live action directing with last year’s Flight, a schmaltzy look at alcoholism barely saved by a strong performance from Denzel Washington.

Now the director is looking for his next project, and he may be heading to an unlikely place – the young adult genre – to find it. The Wrap reports that Zemeckis is in negotiations to direct Chaos Walking, a young adult sci-fi story based on the novels of Patrick Ness. The narrative is set in a dystopian future in which humans have traveled to a distant planet to colonize it. But when an infection (called the Noise) suddenly makes all thoughts audible to everyone, a corrupt politician uses the chaos as a platform to go to war with the alien race indigenous to the planet.

Chaos Walking books

Well, at least this one sounds like it has a larger and more dynamic scope than the seemingly dozens of Twilight and Harry Potter wannabes that have come out over the past few years. And here’s the really interesting part of this whole thing: Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation., and Being John Malkovich, is tackling the screenplay for Chaos Walking. Seems a little out of his regular wheelhouse, but we’re definitely intrigued at what he’ll come up with for a project like this.

Excited to see Chaos Walking, or are you sick of this wave of young adult movies regardless of the talent involved?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.