Lionsgate announced today that it has obtained worldwide rights to develop, produce and distribute films based on the award-winning, best-selling and critically acclaimed CHAOS WALKING young adult novel trilogy by Patrick Ness. The announcement was made by Lionsgate’s co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake. Doug Davison (THE DEPARTED, THE GRUDGE) will be producing through his Quadrant Pictures.
The books are set in a dystopian future with humans colonizing a distant earth-like planet. When an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, privacy vanishes in an instant. In the ensuing chaos, a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race, and only young Todd Hewitt holds the key to stopping planet wide-destruction.
While many of the "young adult" books making the transition to the big screen seem like the same old fantasy nonsense, this one has something a big different up its sleeve: a fascinating concept in the classic sci-fi mold. The "audible thoughts" idea could come from an "Outer Limits" episode, and naturally, I mean that positively.
“A sense of urgency and momentum permeates these stories- it makes the books ones you can’t put down, and will make the movies ones you can’t miss on the big screen,” said Drake of his decision to acquire the adaptation rights. “But apart from the story elements, the world in the stories is so vividly imagined. These are books, much like ‘The Hunger Games,’ that we feel truly beg to be brought to life on film.”
Of course, Lionsgate will be releasing the first of four HUNGER GAMES flicks next year, so it's obvious that they're intent on becoming a major player in the film franchise game. (No more low-budget SAW movies to fall back on.) Whether or not the CHAOS WALKING books are the real deal remains to be seen. No director or scribe has been hired yet.