IT director Andy Muschietti and Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe are teaming up for a sci-fi film based on The Electric State, a narrative artbook by Simon Stålenhag. Given the recent advent of high-minded sci-fi in movies like Arrival and Ex Machina, and in TV shows like Black Mirror, the genre is going through an era of both great creativity and distinct anxiety about what the future holds.
There’s a particular interest right now in how the internet could end up becoming our home in the coming years, something that Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One is set to explore. And just as Ready Player One started its life as a novel, so too will Stålenhag’s The Electric State be brought to life on the big screen.
According to Deadline, Russo Brothers Studio won the rights to The Electric State and are negotiating to bring Andy Muschietti on board as director as well as producer, along with his sister, Barbara Muschietti. Anthony and Joe Russo will also produce, with Mike Larocca serving as executive producer. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who have previously worked with the Russos in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and the still untitled Avengers 4 film, are penning the script.
The Electric State comes from artist and concept designer Simon Stålenhag, who specialises in futuristic artwork focused on stereotypical Swedish countryside environments. This novel, however, covers western USA. Set in late 1997, The Electric State follows a runaway teenager and her toy robot who travel through an alternate-reality USA, where a high-tech consumerist society is in decline. Unlike other illustrated novels from the genre, the book is a narrative art book that tells its story through several images by Stålenhag. The Electric State came to be thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, which features a trailer that gives a better look at the aesthetic and style of the story.
Andy Muschietti has become a well established name in the horror genre thanks to his debut film Mamá in 2013, and the adaptation of Stephen King’s novel IT, which became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time, as well as one of the biggest hits of 2017. Among his upcoming projects are IT: Chapter Two, the Hulu TV series Locke & Key (based on Joe Hill’s comic series of the same name), and Robotech, based on the 1980s anime series.
As for the Russo brothers, aside from their work in various TV series, most notably Community, they are currently working in the fourth Avengers film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after having helmed the last two Captain America films as well as the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
The Russo brothers have a good eye when choosing their projects, and after their work in the MCU, they have proven to have the mastery required to successfully bring fantasy/action stories to life. As for Muschietti, while The Electric State is not a horror story, it will interesting to see his style and creativity in a sci-fi/apocalyptic story – something different from what we have seen from him so far.