Created by: Patrick Ness
Directed by: Doug Liman; Fede Álvarez (Reshoots)
Written by: Patrick Ness, Christopher Ford
Produced by: Doug Davison, Alison Winter
Other cast: Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Kurt Sutter, Nick Jonas, Cynthia Erivo, David Oyelowo
Release date: 22 January 2021
Genre: Science fiction
In the near future, Todd Hewitt has been brought up to believe that a pathogen has killed all women in a colony world and unleashed Noise, the special ability to hear people’s and animals’ minds. Later, he comes upon a patch of silence and soon discovers the source of the silence: a mysterious woman named Viola Eade – the first he has ever met. On the run, they learn more about the true history of the New World.
In October 2011, Lionsgate acquired worldwide distribution rights to a film adaptation of Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy to be produced by Doug Davison’s production company Quadrant Pictures. In 2012, Lionsgate hired Charlie Kaufman to write the first draft of the screenplay. During a Q&A panel at the 2016 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Charlie Kaufman confirmed that he had left the project. The draft he wrote would later be revised by Jamie Linden, Lindsey Beer, Gary Spinelli, John Lee Hancock, Christopher Ford and even Patrick Ness himself. Deadline reported in 2013 that Robert Zemeckis was being considered as the director, but it never materialized; on 10 June 2016, Doug Liman was in talks to direct the film.
On 4 August 2016, it was reported that Daisy Ridley, already a fan of the books, had joined the cast as Viola. Tom Holland’s addition to the cast as Todd was announced on 28 November 2016. On 20 July 2017, it was announced that Mads Mikkelsen joined the cast for the film as the villainous mayor. In August 2017, Demián Bichir, Kurt Sutter, Nick Jonas and David Oyelowo joined the cast. In September 2017, Cynthia Erivo joined the cast. In October 2017, Óscar Jaenada joined the cast.
Principal photography on the film began in Montréal, Quebec on 7 August 2017, with additional uncredited financing from Bron Creative. The film was also shot in Scotland and Iceland, before principal production wrapped in November 2017.
In April 2018, it was reported that the film was scheduled to have several weeks of reshoots in late 2018 or early 2019 after poor test screenings. Due to Daisy Ridley’s commitment to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Tom Holland’s to Spider-Man: Far From Home, the reshoots were not able to commence until April 2019, with Fede Álvarez directing them. These reshoots, which took place in Atlanta and lasted through May, added an additional $15 million to the film’s budget. In September 2020, Patrick Ness and Christopher Ford were given final credit on the screenplay.
Chaos Walking is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on January 22, 2021, by Lionsgate.
Tom was asked to grow as much facial hair as he could for his role. In the span of six weeks, all he could muster was a thin-striped goatee that is barely a soul-patch.
During the first week of filming, Tom broke his nose after getting punched in the face by a stuntman during a fight scene.
Tom had his wisdom teeth pulled out and was bedridden for four days during filming.
On the last day of filming, Tom Holland passed out and became unconscious on camera while performing a scene where he had to hold his breath underwater.
Principal photography took place in Montréal, Quebec from 7 August 2017 to 8 November 2017. Reshoots took place from 17 April 2019 to 6 May 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, reportedly at a cost of $15 million.
Daisy Ridley wore a fake blonde wig in the film for her character Viola.
Robert Zemeckis was in talks to direct the film at one point.