Book to Box Office: The Girl with All the Gifts
Based on: The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (2014)
Expected release date (US): TBA
Directed by: Colm McCarthy with screenplay by M.R. Carey
Summary: A scientist, a teacher, and two soldiers find themselves embarking on a journey for survival accompanied by Melanie, a young girl with some terrifying gifts.
Working For It: Carey’s novel is a fresh take on the zombie genre, full of ingenious tweaks and new ideas. Rather than being simply a story about a group of mismatched individuals lost in a dangerous wasteland, Carey’s book feels more like we’re following the road trip of a dysfunctional family as they try and traverse the end of the world. His writing style and mastery of pace makes the book compelling and addictive and the fact that he also adapted the screenplay is a big plus in this movie’s corner. Adding in the fact that cast is a murderer’s row of great talents with Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, and Paddy Considine, and that the director is the same director as our beloved Peaky Blinders, then we’re looking at the potential for something very special.
Working Against It: Zombie fatigue. There are a lot of new ideas in this story but boil it down to its bones and it is another zombie story in a world full of them. Once you’re into the story it becomes apparent that this is a very different zombie story so hopefully the trailers and marketing can make the movie communicate that clearly for viewers who might be turned off by more of the undead.
Wild Card: The heavy lifting of this story is going to fall upon a young actress, in this case Sennia Nanua in her debut. Though in the images leaked from production she definitely looks the part, we’ll keep our fingers crossed she’s got the chops to convey Melanie’s mix of young innocence and feral rage.
Verdict: If done well, this will be a classic of the genre. The talent is there at all points and the story is gorgeous and innovative. Add in the fact that of the five main characters there are two people of color, a majority of female characters, and only one white guy, this is definitely a movie that we want to be excellent and to succeed whenever it comes out.