Published posthumously in 1974, Robert C O’Brien’s post-apocalyptic novel Z For Zachariah quickly became an acclaimed and award-winning work of children’s fiction even though its author had intended it to be a novel for adults. The story concerns a sixteen year-old girl named Ann who survives a nuclear war and finds solace and shelter in a small valley in the American Midwest which is protected from radiation and nerve gas by its own unique weather system. But her idyll is shattered by the arrival of John Loomis, a scientist who has created a radiation-proof protective suit. The story tells of the uneasy friendship and relationship which develops between the two in a hostile and irradiated world.
Previously filmed by the BBC in 1984 for its fondly-remembered Play For Today strand (where its location was shifted to Wales), Z For Zachariah is now headed for the big screen in a new adaptation to be directed by Craig Zobel (Compliance). In casting news Chiwetel Ejiofor will play Loomis (replacing the previously-cast Toby Maguire) alongside Amanda Seyfried’s Ann. Also starring will be Star Trek’s Chris Pine who, in a marked deviation from the novel’s narrative, will play a third survivor whose arrival in the valley will complicate the relationship between Ann and Loomis. Expect little in the way of CGI chaos and carnage and plenty of philosophical rumination and character angst.
Z For Zachariah will start filming in August 2013 and is likely to be released late in 2014.
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