Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown has been cast in The Electric State adaptation. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Simon Stålenhag, the story takes place in a reimagined version of 1997. With humans isolated in their VR helmets and a continuing battle against a strange breed of monstrous drones in the wake of a technological meltdown, a teenage girl named Michelle and a robot travel the West Coast of the U.S. in search of the girl’s missing brother.
The adaptation was first revealed in 2017, with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely attached to pen the script. In 2019, the duo gave an update on the project by tweeting out an image from Stålenhag’s popular book. Andy Muschietti, known for helming the IT franchise, was on board to direct. But now, The Electric State will be going in a different direction.
According to Deadline, Millie Bobby Brown has been selected to play Michelle in The Electric State adaptation. The casting news comes along with the announcement that Universal Pictures has won the rights to adapt the graphic novel after a bidding war. Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Avengers: Endgame, are now slated to direct the project. It’s noted that Muschietti likely had to step away from the director’s chair, due to his focus on The Flash movie starring Ezra Miller, although he will still serve as a producer on Electric State along with his producing partner Barbara Muschietti. Given that Brown is busy filming Stranger Things season 4, and the Russo brothers are also occupied with The Gray Man, the hope is that Electric State will begin production in late 2021 or the beginning of 2022.
The announcement that the Russos will helm the adaptation is significant since it will reunite the directing duo with Markus and McFeely. The four collaborated on Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War, in addition to the two most recent Captain America movies, with Markus and McFeely writing the scripts for each blockbuster. Considering the box office track record of the talent behind the camera, in addition to Brown’s rising star power, there will be a lot of attention on The Electric State adaptation as it enters production. In particular for Brown, who has already turned heads with her portrayals of Eleven and Enola Holmes, her role as Michelle will likely lead to even bigger career opportunities.
The news is also a positive for fans of the graphic novel. The Electric State has been praised for its distinct visuals and heartbreaking story, garnering strong reviews from its readers. At times, when such a resonant work is transformed into a big tentpole movie, the results can be disappointing. But the Russos, along with Markus and McFeely, have demonstrated an impressive ability to honor the worlds they’re adapting while also presenting the story in an engaging way to new audiences. It will be a decent while before The Electric State premieres. By all accounts though, Universal should have a hit on their hands.
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