Few actors had as big a break out in 2013 as Australian beauty Margot Robbie. She appeared in Richard Curtis’ time travel rom com About Time, but what really got people’s attention was her turn as Leonardo DiCaprio’s second wife in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. That role turned more than a few heads. Now her name is being thrown around in relation to all sorts of high-profile roles, including as a replacement for Amanda Seyfried in Craig Zobel’s (Compliance) adaptation of the post-apocalyptic Z for Zachariah opposite Chris Pine (Star Trek and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity).
Post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories are hot again these days, especially if you can throw a young adult angle into the mix. Written by Robert C. O’Brien, Zachariah is a very 1970s/1980s style of the world. Instead of a global pandemic or plague of zombies, like so many movies these days, this is a good old-fashioned nuclear apocalypse. At this point the idea of humanity wiping each other out in worldwide nuclear war seems almost quaint, but it makes sense, since the book was written at the height of the Cold War.
The Wrap reports that Robbie will fill the role vacated by Seyfried when the Red Riding Hood star left the project. Zachariah was originally scheduled to film in August of 2013, but when Ejiofor found himself in the middle of a time-consuming Oscar campaign for his role in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, the production was pushed back into 2014. The Australian-born actress will reportedly shoot this film before moving on to her next project, Warner Bros.’ big-time remake of Tarzan—she’ll play Jane—which co-stars Alexander Skarsgard, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson.
Zachariah is a psychological thriller that follows the story of a teenage girl named Ann Burden, Robbie if this move pans out. After the nuclear destruction of the world, she finds herself living in the one remaining pristine valley, untouched by radiation and fallout. She believes that she’s the last living human, that is until scientist John R. Loomis (Ejiofor) arrives on the scene, and the two fall in love. When a third survivor (Pine) shows up, this complicates things even further and brings up a whole slew of new issues.
We’ll have to see how closely the movie sticks to the story in the book, but it seems tailor made for Zobel. His highest profile film thus far is Compliance, which has similar themes of control and subservience to authority that Zachariah contains.