The newest zombie film star might be about the last person you’d expect to fill those shoes. At the Toronto International FIlm Festival (TIFF) in September, a new independent zombie movie titled Maggie will premier starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin. While many of us still aren’t fully over the Mr. Freeze debaucle, what the man did for the robot genre can’t be denied. So I for one welcome an opportunity to see him in a new geek subgenre.
Written in 2011 by John Scott III, the plot follows a man named Wade (Schwarzenegger) who stays with his daughter (Breslin) after she is bitten by a zombie, and while she slowly turns into one herself. The script made the Hollywood Black List of Best Unproduced Screenplays, and as you probably know, “unproduced screenplays” is an even bigger field to compete with than produced ones.
The film is to be directed by Henry Hobson, a title sequence designer whose best work is probably the opener for Sherlock. While that may be unrelated to the zombie genre, you’ve got to admit it’s a damn fine intro, so you might be safe expecting good things from Hobson. He definitely seems like he’s going somewhere, and a high profile zombie indie drama is no doubt an excellent jumping off point.
It’s quite a cool thing to see Arnold hanging around an indie flick like this, particularly considering that the intimate tone of the drama seems to indicate that he won’t really be smashing any zombie heads. There are zombie movies popping up all the time, and always have been. But lending his name to this one raises the profile up quite a lot, and gives a much needed boost to this sort of independent zombie film. It’s not action or horror by the sound of it, and not the sort of high stakes epic we’ve seen recently in World War Z or The Walking Dead. There are still 22 days until the festival, so the verdict won’t be in for 3 weeks. But we will be keeping an ear to the ground once it starts to see how well it’s received.