Though he’s remaining within a larger action framework for his next film, World War Z director Marc Forster is trading in zombies for Martian class conflict. Reports are that his follow up will an adaptation of Pierce Brown’s hot-off the presses novel, Red Rising. How fresh is this book, you ask? It hit bookshelves one week ago today, that’s how new it is.
According to Deadline, Forster is already attached to helm this project, and it will most likely be his next movie, though that could change depending on the production schedule. In addition to penning the novel, Brown also turned out the screenplay. The man can multitask. Right now there’s no word on where the film will land, but he report says a couple of studios are circling, though Paramount is not one of them. That makes a great deal of sense. Even though the film was a huge box office success, after the well-publicized problems on World War Z, which included multiple rewrites and several weeks of reshoots among other issues, neither side is eager to climb back in bed with the other.
Book one in a proposed trilogy, Red Rising has already garnered comparisons to Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games. The story follows Darrow. In a future where everyone is color-coded, he is a “Red,” the lowest cast, who labor all day on Mars, under the false impression that he and his ilk are paving the way for colonization, making the planet livable for future generations. Yeah, that’s a lie. There are already huge cities on the surface of Red Planet, and members of his class are little more than slaves for the wealthy elite.
Inspired by his discovery, Darrow becomes a revolutionary, and sets out to climb the societal ladder in order to create a better world, competing against the most ruthless members of the ruling class. But don’t worry, there’s also a story of lost love involved, so it’s not all business. You can’t help but also get a whiff of Divergent in this description, or imagine that Total Recall had a baby with Elysium and this is the result.
There’s definite potential in this story, but Forster is a question mark. I actually enjoyed World War Z, and though he has a solid grasp of cinematic action, even with all of the bells and whistles, his work always feel empty. You know he can do emotional depth because of movies like Monster’s Ball and Stranger Than Fiction, but he’s also churned out movies like Quantum of Solace, which is devoid of any substance at all. Maybe it’s a script thing. If he has the material to work with, perhaps he’ll be fine. Either way, Red Rising just became and interesting new movie to watch out for.