The Mega Millions Sci-Fi Epic Adaptation With Star Wars And Marvel Stars That Is Already Being Forgotten

By TeeJay Small | Published

The Hollywood machine can be quite a fickle beast, with writers, actors, and producers frequently unable to tell if their big gambles will pay off. Some films, such as 2021’s Chaos Walking, seem to have every element necessary for major success and still wind up crashing and burning at every turn. The film, which has been critically panned and largely forgotten since its release, had a massive budget, big-name stars, and a celebrated director behind the wheel.

Based On The Book Trilogy

chaos walking tom holland daisy ridley feature

Chaos Walking was directed by Doug Liman, who previously helmed fan favorites such as 2002’s The Bourne Identity, 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and 2014’s Edge Of Tomorrow. Liman clearly has a well-crafted understanding of what makes a sci-fi film tick, how action sequences should be blocked, and what audiences want from a big blockbuster outing. The film was based on a science fiction novel trilogy of the same name, with Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Christopher Ford penning the final draft of the screenplay.

A Decade Of Production

So, what went so off the rails that Chaos Walking became the forgotten critical failure that exists today? The easy answer is development hell, as the film suffered a host of rewrites and production problems, which caused Chaos Walking to stall out behind the scenes for nearly a full decade. The film was first announced all the way back in 2011 before undergoing several rewrites and earning poor reviews from a number of test screenings, prompting numerous reshoots.

An All-Star Cast

Chaos Walking stars Tom Holland (Marvel’s Spider-Man), Daisy Ridley (Rey from the Star Wars sequel trilogy), Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Mads Mikkelsen, and pop singer Nick Jonas. The film centers on a distant planet in 2257, which humanity has colonized after wiping out the native species, known as the Spackle. During their initial colonization, all the human women were killed by Spackle forces, leaving behind only a small settlement of men, each of whom suffer from an affliction called the Noise.

The Noise Is A Mess

The Noise is a bizarre condition that allows the thoughts and feelings of the colonist men to be broadcast publicly, preventing anyone from lying or hiding their true feelings. After a scout ship containing a human woman from Earth crash-lands on the planet, Tom Holland‘s Todd Hewitt attempts to protect her from the other men and uncovers a gripping conspiracy along the way. As Chaos Walking builds to its conclusion, the film increasingly relies upon logical fallacies and sci-fi concepts that aren’t properly fleshed out, creating an unstable mess of a movie.

A Failure Of Epic Proportions

The film was universally derided by critics upon release, resulting in a 21 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Chaos Walking was also a massive financial failure, grossing only $27 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of over $125 million. The nearly decade-long production, unfortunately, led to a film that is only enjoyable as a so-bad-it’s-good experience.

Not Easy To Stream

If you’re interested in catching Chaos Walking today, you may be out of luck, as the film is currently not streaming on any major platform. Digital rentals of the panned movie are available at full price from retailers like Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video, though if you’re anything like the movie-going public of 2021, you likely have no interest in spending money to watch this disaster unfold.