One hallmark of most post-apocalyptic movies is a level of brutality generally frowned upon in a more civilized time. Keeping that in mind, it will be interesting to watch the development of Monster Problems. It’s described as “a post-apocalyptic road movie in the vein of Mad Max and Zombieland with a John Hughes-esque love story at its center.” Zombieland already has a Hughes-ish romance—awkward weirdo who pines for a girl that’s way out of his league—but that’s beside the point.
Combine this description with the fact that Shawn Levy will produce the picture, and you can’t be blamed for imagining Monster Problems as a kinder, gentler post-apocalyptic jaunt. Levy is best known for movies like Night at the Museum, Date Night, Real Steel, and Cheaper by the Dozen. The most extreme thing on his resume is The Watch, which comes out later this summer. Levy produced that picture.
The script for Monster Problems, which Paramount is in negotiations to pick up, is by Brian Duffield. His Black List screenplay Jane Got a Gun has attracted some big name attention in Hollywood, and Your Bridesmaid’s a Bitch, a romantic comedy he penned, is being produced by Skydance.
Just because Monster Problems seems like a more moderate approach to post-apocalyptic fiction than usual doesn’t mean it will be bad. Not every end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it story has to be hardcore and brutal. I gravitate towards that side of things, but just because I’m a curmudgeonly pessimist doesn’t mean there’s no room for optimism in the subgenre.
With a name like Monster Problems you have to wonder about the nature of these monsters. Are there zombies, or maybe mutants? I could stand to see some mutants on screen. There hasn’t been a really good radioactive mutant movie in a while. Then again, the title could just as easily refer to allegorical human monsters. I’d rather see real monsters. How about you?