It would be easy to accuse The Girl with All the Gifts of being a fad product. It’s set in a dystopian future, it’s got zombies, and there’s even a chosen one-esque girl at its center. It all seems dreadfully familiar, but a bit of digging reveals that this project is anything but a studio rummaging for profit.

The screenplay is from M.R. Carey, who has a long career writing comic books under the name Mike Carey. Have you heard of the acclaimed Lucifer spinoff from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman? That’s his work. He’s done other writing as well, including simultaneously developing The Girl with All the Gifts as both a novel and a screenplay.

The novel came out in 2014 to widespread praise and strong sales, but Carey has stated that the movie will deviate slightly from the book. He developed the screenplay closely with director Colm McCarthy, and considering all the kind words critics had about the book’s characters and genre twists, I’m guessing that the changes have more to do with accommodating a different medium than fixing any shortfalls.


The Girl with All the Gifts Trailer
source: Warner Bros.s

Apparently when you work a story as much as Carey did, you attract vets like Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, and Paddy Considine to the vacant roles. It’s an impressive cast, but the bulk of the film will fall to newcomer Sennia Nanua. Festival screenings have brought the young actress praise, so it seems the leap of faith paid off.

Taken all together, there’s very little about this project that indicates a studio trying to replicate previous successes. This looks like a project that was developed by skilled storytellers with great care. Hopefully the end result reflects that.

The Girl with All the Gifts is directed by Colm McCarthy and stars Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, and Glenn Close. It will be released in the U.K. on September 23rd, 2016. For international release dates, click here.

Do you think The Girl with All the Gifts will deliver more than genre tropes? Let us know in the comments!

Does content like this matter to you?

Become a Member and support film journalism. Unlock access to all of Film Inquiry`s great articles. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about cinema – get access to our private members Network, give back to independent filmmakers, and more.

Join now!

Posted by Contributor