Doug Liman in talks to direct latest young-adult franchise for Lionsgate

Doug Liman Chaos Walking

There's been a scramble to discover the next great young-adult franchise ever since THE HUNGER GAMES blew up; some have been successful (THE MAZE RUNNER), others less so (THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT), but the search continues. Lionsgate picked up the rights to to Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking trilogy several years ago and at one point Robert Zemeckis was attached to direct, but now THR reports that Doug Liman (EDGE OF TOMORROW) is in talks to helm "The Knife of Never Letting Go," the first installment of Ness' trilogy.

A synopsis of "The Knife of Never Letting Go" via Amazon:

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

As I haven't read the books myself I can't speak to their quality, but Lionsgate, together with Summit, managed to secure the services of Charlie Kaufman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND) to adapt the novel. The most recent draft came from Jamie Linden (MONEY MONSTER) so it's not certain how much of Kaufman's work has survived, but the project certainly sounds promising. The studio is hopeful that production on THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO will begin this fall. As for what this means for the continuingly delayed GAMBIT, either Doug Liman will jump ship or the film is even further off than we think.

Doug Liman's next film reunites him with his EDGE OF TOMORROW star Tom Cruise for MENA. Cruise plays Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot and drug smuggler who later became an informant for the DEA. MENA is set for a January 6, 2017 release.

Source: THR



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