Academy Award winning director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back To The Future) is getting back into the tent-pole business. After the success of 2012’s Flight, which starred Denzel Washington, he is set to direct the real-life drama Marwencol for Universal, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane with Wendy Finerman and New Line, and is in final negotiations with Lionsgate for the Patrick Ness best-selling young adult trilogy Chaos Walking.
First up for Zemeckis is tackling the adaptation of the 2010 documentary Marwencol, the widely acclaimed true story of artist and photographer Mark Hogankamp, who was savagely beaten by five men outside a bar and left for dead. Hogankamp survived, but with severe brain damage and memory loss. Not being able to afford rehabilitation he built a 1/16th scale recreation of a World War II Belgian village in his backyard, complete with dolls representing real people that he uses to re-enact scenes of survival that help him process his own mental and physical trauma. The documentary won the Golden Tomato Award and holds a 98% satisfaction rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Zemeckis will direct from a script by Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas).
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is an adaptation of the beloved children’s novel by Kate DiCamillo. The script is by Jeff Stockwell (Bridge To Terabithia). Edward Tulane is a vain and snooty Chinese porcelain rabbit and the toy of a wealthy young girl. When she carelessly lets the rabbit fall overboard while on a luxury cruise on the Queen Mary, Edward Tulane learns to survive and spends 297 days on the ocean floor. A storm frees him from his watery prison and he is rescued first by a fisherman’s wife, then by a hobo and his dog, and finally by a sick child. Wendy Finerman (Forrest Gump, Devil Wears Prada) is producing along with Steve Starkey, Jack Rapke and New Line.
Chaos Walking is a Charlie Kaufman script adaptation of the young adult sci-fi trilogy by Patrick Ness. Set in a dystopian future, humans have colonized a distant planet where all thoughts have become audible and create a constant, disruptive ‘Noise’. The trilogy is world-spanning, and plots a villain autocrat threatening to take control by leading a war against an alien race for supremacy and a young boy protagonist who holds the key for saving mankind. Doug Davison (Oldboy) is producing under the Quadrant banner. According to The Wrap, the deal for Chaos Walking could be finalized shortly. The appeal of Chaos Walking is its potential to become a franchise, similar to Hunger Games and Twilight.