The apocalypse is terrifying at the best of times, but when the concept of oblivion hits you through young adult literature — as the teens of today are finding out through “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” “The Knife Of Never Letting Go” et al — it’s almost guaranteed to lead to some sleepless nights. For a certain generation, that fear of radiation poisoning came from “Z For Zachariah,” the 1974 novel by Robert C. O’Brien (who died before the book was completed).
A stark and affecting two hander about Ann, a young woman who thinks she’s the lone survivor of a nuclear war, only to discover a scientist, Loomis, alive, it’s been a high-school favorite for nearly forty years, but other than a low-budget BBC adaptation, has never made it to the big screen. However, for some time now Tobey Maguire has been planning an adaptation through his Material Pictures banner, setting “Compliance” helmer Craig Zobel to direct it a while back, and while Maguire was once set to star, he seems to have stepped aside, as The Hollywood Reporter announce that Amanda Seyfried, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine have all come aboard the project.
Seyfried will play Ann, the lead, and Ejiofor will play the scientist, but this is where it gets confusing, because the book is really only a two-hander, and yet the Hollywood Reporter say that Pine is playing “another survivor” who “complicates matters.” Has the script, by newcomer Nissar Modi, tinkered with the original in a major way? Or do the trade have that facts mixed up?
Either way, it’s a very strong cast, and we’re as pleased as ever to see Ejiofor in such a major role, while it’s another sign, after his casting in “Into The Woods” earlier today, that Pine is looking to be known as more than just Captain Kirk. We’re sure, if ‘Compliance” is anything to go by, that Zobel will be putting the three during the wringer when filming begins in August.