Bizarre Casting: Schwarzenegger Joins Black List Zombie Project, Maggie

arnold schwarzeneggerJohn Scott III saw his screenplay Maggie place on the 2011 Black List of hotly-tipped but homeless screenplays. Like many listees it was quickly the subject of a bidding war, but there were some wrinkles this time. Timur Bekmembetov picked the project up… and then put it down again. Still, it is going ahead now.

The screenplay is an interesting twist on typical zombie fare, one that ditches almost all of the genre’s conventions. At heart it’s a family drama, centring on Maggie, a teenage girl who is slowly – and I mean slowly – transforming into a zombie. Genre elements are at a low in this one, though, and you actually could swap the zombie virus for cancer and get a pretty similar picture. Don’t expect head shot after head shot and races across rooftops to helicopters.

Which is why I’m so surprised to read Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed on to star as Wade, Maggie’s dad. What’s more, Variety report that he’s now also one of the film’s producers.

Maggie will start production this autumn with Henry Hobson behind the megaphone. If he gets it right, this could be a small scale hit, possibly even a long-beloved cult classic. One crucial thing that will have to be absolutely spot-on is the casting of the title role. Last year, Chloe Moretz was up for the part but now, apparently thanks to a scheduling clash, she won’t be involved.