Is it just me, or does the phrase “Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie drama” bring about both heightened excitement and intense wariness? However, it appears Lionsgate has quite a bit of confidence in the genre-mashing Maggie, as the company has acquired the film’s North American distribution rights. And while that’s excellent news for director Henry Hobson, it was a blow to everyone expecting to watch the film’s world premiere this week.
Maggie was originally set to debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off next week. TIFF is a great fest that handles both prestige pics and genre flicks with the sameopen generosity, so it was encouraging to see Maggie make the list in the first place. Unfortunately, Lionsgate has decided to pull the film back, and announced they intend to release the film in early 2015. This move doesn’t necessarily mean that the film will shy away from all festivals, as there are many more to come before “early 2015” gets here. Will Schwarzenegger go and kick snow’s ass in Sundance? As odd as that sounds, it could happen.
While details about the film are scarce, John Scott 3’s Black List script tells the tale of a Midwestern teenager, played by Abigail Breslin, who is infected with a disease that turns her into a zombified cannibal. Schwarzenegger plays her father, who refuses to leave her side in this tumultuous period. It sounds rather unlike 99% of Schwarzenegger’s work in the past, and that’s one of its bigger draws.
Steve Beeks, who serves as Lionsgate’s co-chief operating officer and motion picture group president, says the former Governator “turns in a performance that marks a dramatic departure from his action persona,” and says Maggie “will resonate with thriller aficionados everywhere.” I mean, of course he’s going to say that, but it doesn’t seem like this is much of a thriller, so that’s good to know.
Lotus Entertainment co-chairs Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel said in a statement that Maggie “takes the zombie genre in exciting new directions, and it offers something for everyone—star power, horror, suspense and riveting performances that will keep moviegoers on the edge of their seats.”
Hopefully we’ll get a trailer to go with these images soon, because I’d really like to get a better take on what this movie’s tone will be. It doesn’t sound like zombies are going to be running amok, which probably means we won’t see Ahnold punching a zombie’s face off of its body. And while that’s certainly a shame, Maggie sounds like it could be solid counterprogramming to all the big budget nonsense we’ve dealt with all summer.