Post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories are big these days. What that says about our collective psyche is better left for professionals to decipher, but it makes for some damn fine movie watching. Now a trio of stars, including Chris Pine, Amanda Seyfried, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, have signed on to take a tour around a ruined Earth in the adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s Z for Zachariah. These three join Tobey Maguire, who will also produce the film, which Craig Zobel will direct.
Zachariah is kind of a throwback. Lately all the destruction of humanity movies all seem to revolve around pandemics and zombies. This, however, is a good old fashioned nuclear disaster flick. Makes sense; the novel was written in the midst of the Cold War, when most of us assumed that we would eventually die in an all-out nuclear holocaust. I miss movies like A Boy and His Dog.
A psychological thriller, the story revolves around a teenage girl named Ann Burden. Seyfried will play this role, and if you’re keeping score, the actress is currently 28 years old. She appears to be the sole survivor of a nuclear war, surviving in a high valley that remains untouched by radiation and fallout. When a scientist (Ejiofor) shows up, the two fall in love, and when another survivor (Pine) arrives, this serves to complicate things even further.
I don’t know how closely they’ll stick to the book, but there are some intense themes of murder, control, and sexual assault contained in the source material. If you want a good time, read a few of the one-star reviews on Amazon. They’re almost exclusively written by frustrated junior high kids and angry moms.
Zobel most recently made waves last year with Compliance, a harrowing look at subservience to authority gone wrong. It isn’t an easy movie. Because of this, you can imagine that he intends to retain many of the more uncomfortable ideas and topics. So Z for Zachariah could prove to be a very interesting movie. They’re scheduled to begin filming this August.