Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Oscar Predictions 2016 Oscar Predictions 2016 Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) A Letter to Michael B. Jordan A Letter to Michael B. Jordan Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' Top 10 Takeaways:  'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million Top 10 Takeaways: 'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Inside the Directors Guild Awards Inside the Directors Guild Awards Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How Quentin Tarantino Resurrected Ultra Panavision 70 for 'The Hateful Eight' How Quentin Tarantino Resurrected Ultra Panavision 70 for 'The Hateful Eight' What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt? What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt?

Dystopia Rules! Rudin and Paramount's Unpublished 'Annihilation' Joins Rash of Movies About Our Grim Future

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 27, 2013 at 6:22PM

In Hollywood, the end of the worlds is always at hand. Trust Scott Rudin to sniff out the next literary phenomenon. Yes, yet another dystopian picture is in the works. As John Carpenter and Kurt Russell reunite in advance of an "Escape from New York" reboot, and Roland Emmerich preps a sequel to "Independence Day," a plethora of dystopian movies are on the way.
0
'Elysium'
'Elysium'

In Hollywood, the end of the world is always at hand. Trust Scott Rudin to sniff out the next literary phenomenon. Yes, yet another dystopian picture is in the works. As John Carpenter and Kurt Russell reunite in advance of an "Escape from New York" reboot, and Roland Emmerich preps a sequel to "Independence Day," a plethora of dystopian movies are on the way.

Coming up:

  • "Elysium" (August 9), Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to sleeper hit "District 9," with its insect-like aliens living in a fetid South African slum. Footage from the new film featuring a ravaged earth, space station, Matt Damon and Jodie Foster played well at Comic-Con. (My interview with Blomkamp is here.)
  • Based on a graphic novel, "Snow Piercer" tracks the last train across the frozen wastes. 
  • "The Survivalist" tops the Brit version of the Black List.
  •  The hit AMC show "The Walking Dead" continues to score with viewers. 
  • Tom Cruise stars in "Oblivion," (April 19) offering yet another view of our destroyed planet.
  • Finally opening soon is the Brad Pitt swarming zombiefest "World War Z" (June 21).
Scott Rudin

In this case, Rudin and Paramount have optioned "Annihilation," the yet unpublished first novel in a planned "Southern Reach" trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Deadline reports that the deal is "sizable," and that Rudin and Eli Bush are on board as producers. "Annihilation" centers on a biologist who, still reeling from her husband's sudden disappearance, volunteers for an expedition in a region sealed off for decades as an environmental disaster zone. And there be a dangerous creature in them thar hills. (They must hope that the film will do better than the horrific B-movie "Chernobyl Diaries.") VanderMeer is best known for fantasy collection "City of Saints and Madmen" and 2009 novel "Finch."

As wildfires, melting polar glaciers, rising ocean levels, and powerful hurricanes threaten us all, Dystopian Cinema continues to flourish. A Dystopian world is the opposite of a Utopian one, basically: they're usually miserable, poverty-stricken, and dehumanizing. If we're not scared yet, we should be. Filmmakers have been imagining the end of the world and what life would be like for its survivors since William Cameron Menzies' 1936 H.G. Wells adaptation "Things to Come." The nuclear age brought 1959's "On the Beach," followed decades later by George Miller's 1979 "Mad Max" and its sequels, Ridley Scott's 1982 "Blade Runner" and Will Smith in Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend" (2007).

Some of these movies are hits (Roland Emmerich's "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012," Pixar's "Wall E"), and some are too grim, brainy or familiar for wide audience appeal (the Hughes brothers' "Book of Eli," Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," Shane Acker's "9," McG's "Terminator Salvation," Alex Proyas's "Knowing"). Alfonso Cuaron's "Children of Men" won our fave dystopian flick poll a while back.

This article is related to: Scott Rudin, News, News, Paramount, Paramount/Vantage/Insurge/CBS


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH



Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.