THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
M.R. CAREY'S HORROR TALE GOES WIDESCREEN
The bestselling zombie novel with a big chewy heart is coming to the big screen, directed by Peaky Blinders and Doctor
Who’s Colm McCarthy. With an unusually plant-based take on zombie infection, it focuses on 11-year-old Melanie, who has retained her intelligence despite being infected and might be the key to finding a cure. She’s taken on a dangerous trip to the UK’s last remaining city by teacher Miss Justineau (Gemma Arterton), soldier Sgt Parks (Paddy Considine) and scientist Dr Caldwell (Glenn Close), who’d very much like to dissect Melanie to find out how she ticks.
“Every time I watch it I feel this ridiculous, complete happiness,” says author MR Carey, who wrote the book and the screenplay concurrently. “For ten months I was just living in that world, being immersive, and both the novel and the movie screenplay benefitted from that. The novel became more visual and in the movie the interior life of the characters comes across more clearly.”
Carey is delighted with the film’s impressive cast (“I had no idea that [actors of that calibre] were even an option”), not least Close, whose depiction of Dr Caldwell is “so self-possessed and so scary and so imposing”.
The film won’t be a slavish copy of the book, with the Junkers characters being cut because, on screen, they “felt like they wandered in out of Mad Max”. But Carey promises us that the book’s sharper edges haven’t been blunted for the film. “We didn’t tone anything down,” he tells SFX. “The ending is very faithful to the book.”
Wait till London Transport hear about this!