Doug Liman Climbs Aboard A Space Train With Railhead

By Brent McKnight | 7 years ago

Doug LimanDirector Doug Liman is about to deliver a serious dose of sci-fi action to the summer movie schedule with the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt-starring Edge of Tomorrow. That however, is not the only genre project on the Bourne Identity helmer’s plate. He is in talks to bring Philip Reeve’s science fiction children’s novel Railhead to the big screen.

You haven’t heard of Railhead? Neither had we, and that’s because it hasn’t even been released yet. In fact, it won’t even be available on your local bookshelves until Oxford University Press unveils it in 2015. We may have to wait a while, but it sounds like there is a good deal of potential for something fun to come out of this. According to THR the story takes place in futuristic world where trains travel through space via some kind of portals. That right there could lend itself to some cool visuals. Just imagine trains bursting out of all kinds of space tunnels. I wonder if there will be space train stations.

The protagonist is said to be a petty thief, who, after being commissioned to steal an object, discovers that the item is much more important than he initially thought. This leads to a wild chase across space that has the potential to change the future and landscape of the entire galaxy. There are a few things in this description that will likely call to mind Mavel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, where the theft of what may be an Infinity Gem kicks off of galaxy-wide manhunt. The story of Reeve’s book is also said to contain many unique and interesting characters, some of which are human, some of which fall into some other category, which is always a good time.

Railhead continues the relationship between Liman and Warner Bros., the studio behind Tomorrow, as well as Liman’s earlier directorial efforts Mr. & Mrs. Smith and his addition to the Bourne canon. It’s been a pretty lucrative partnership for both sides. Liman has a number of irons in the fire, both as a director and producer, so the wait for the book to come out probably doesn’t faze him.

Reeve is best known for his Mortal Enginesbooks—sometimes called the Predator Cities Quartet—a series of four steampunk novels set in a futuristic London and aimed at readers age 9-11. As we all know, kids that age love a good tale of a lawless post-apocalyptic society, I certainly spent more time watching Mad Max movies as a kid than I probably should have.

There’s no word on the timeline for Railhead. Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan are set to produce the film for Di Novi Pictures, though there is no mention of a potential writer at this stage. This one likely has a long time to go before we see anything, if we ever do. In the meantime, Edge of Tomorrow opens everywhere on June 6.

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