Reshoots and additional photography have become a common thing in Hollywood. It’s no longer a big red flag if a film is set to have a few weeks of them, as pretty much every tentpole out there does it. However, audiences do tend to freak out just a little if it results in a delay, or if it’s a result of poor test screenings. This is exactly what happened to director Doug Liman’s film Chaos Walking.
The adaptation of Patrick Ness’ novel The Knife of Never Letting Go stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland was deemed “unreleasable” according to Lionsgate executives. That being said, one reason reshoots were so difficult was due to the stars’ busy schedules with their respective franchises.
It’s been several months since we’ve heard anything, and in a recent interview with Collider, Liman gave an update on the film and discussed the difficulty of trying to subvert tropes in his movies.
“We’re pretty much done. There’s a lot of technical stuff. It’s the most creatively challenging film that I’ve ever worked on, and I seek out creatively challenging projects, or take something that’s supposed to be more mainstream, like The Bourne Identity, and make it creatively challenging, by saying that I’m not going to do any of the tropes. One of the things you discover, when you veer off into not doing the tropes, is why those tropes exist. They just work, even if they’re predictable. And I’m interested, in all of my projects, including Chaos Walking, in finding alternative ways to deliver mainstream audience satisfaction, but not in the predictable way, and that’s just challenging to do. Many of my films, I’ve actually gone back in and shot things, especially from the third act, because I’m intentionally not doing the obvious. When I was doing The Bourne Identity, the obvious endings of the movie was to grab Franka Potente and take her hostage. In fact, they had a name for that in film school, which was the WIJ, or woman in jeopardy. Every single action script ever written was grabbing the girl hostage in the third act, and then the hero would have to save her, and choose between saving her and what his original goal was. With The Bourne Identity, I was like, ‘We’re not doing a WIJ.’ And then, we were having trouble making the end of the film work, and at a certain point, I said to Matt Damon, ‘I don’t know, maybe there’s a reason this trope exists. Maybe we have to have a WIJ.’ And Matt was like, ‘You promised me no WIJ.’ He didn’t go to film school, but I taught him the term and he was like, ‘You said no WIJ. Figure it out.’ So, I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll figure it out.’ And you can be sure there’s no WIJ in Chaos Walking.”
While I continue to be a bit concerned about this film, I very much respect Liman as a filmmaker and his desire to avoid falling heavily into tropes, as they can make the moviegoing experience a bit derivative. That being said, as he stated above, those tropes exist for a reason, so it’ll be interesting to see if he was able to stick the landing on a film that he concerns to be his most creatively-challenging one.
What do you think of Liman’s comments? Let us know down below!
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