Last year, Legendary Entertainment picked up the rights to Max Brooks‘ new book Devolution, an exploration of the Bigfoot myth framed in a series of journals written by a woman who was trying to survive in a tech-focused, “green” community that is suddenly left isolated from the modern world by a natural disaster. Things take a turn for the worse when a pack of Sasquatch creatures enter the fray. Now Legendary has brought in Coming Home in the Dark director James Ashcroft to take the helm of the project.
The Hollywood Reporter has news on the Devolution movie landing in the hands of director James Ashcroft, a Maori Kiwi actor-turned-filmmaker. Funnily enough, the book was originally developed as a screenplay for Legendary with David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans, The Walking Dead) writing and Lost director Jack Bender also on board. But Brooks decided to turn it into a book first. We’re not sure if Brooks adapted the book himself as a first draft, or if Johnson’s old script was still hanging around, but wherever the script came from, Ashcroft will be giving it a polish with his writing partner Eli Kent.
Ashcroft made a splash at Sundance last year with Coming Home in the Dark, which was subsequently picked up by Netflix, but it hasn’t debuted on the streaming service yet. Legendary hopes the director will deliver a “horror piece that has something to say about the state of humanity when the veneer of civility is stripped away and nature takes over.”
What is the Devolution Movie About?
If this is the first time you’re hearing about Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre, the book shares similarities with World War Z, in that it’s written by Max Brooks as if he were investigating this fictional story himself as a real event. His “research,” combined with the journals of a character with first-hand journal accounts, tell the thrilling story. Here’s the official synopsis of the book:
As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now. The journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten. In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and, inevitably, of savagery and death.
Yet it is also far more than that.
Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.
Sounds like it has the makings of a compelling thriller. Perhaps the world is about to get Bigfoot crazy all over again, because Hulu also has the docuseries Sasquatch that arrived this past April. Considering there haven’t been many truly definitive horror movies about Bigfoot, Devolution has the potential to create a new big screen milestone for the mythical creature. It will likely be the biggest Bigfoot movie since Harry and the Hendersons. Soon we’ll all be screaming, “Can’t you see we don’t want you any more?!”
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