Universal lands the deal for AGBO’s film adaptation of The Electric State comic with Joe and Anthony Russo directing, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely writing and Millie Bobby Brown set to star.
After a heavy bidding war, Universal Pictures acquired the rights to the film adaptation of the graphic novel The Electric State. They were quick to attach one of Hollywood’s rising stars Millie Bobby Brown to the project. The Russos will also produce through their AGBO banner. Mike Larocca will also produce under AGBO.
The package went out to buyers last week and Universal was quick to grab the highly-coveted property. AGBO landed the rights in 2017 with plans to develop along with Andy and Barbara Muschietti, with Andy taking the director’s spot. With the Muschiettis focused on The Flash movie at WB, the Russo’s took over the directing chair on The Electric State. The Muschiettis will still serve as producers. Russell Ackerman and John Schoenfelder are exec producing.
The Electric State Crew Are Really Excited
The film is an adaptation of Simon Stålenhag’s, The Electric State, and will be written by AGBO’s Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, the screenwriters who teamed with the Russo’s on Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. The 2018 graphic novel is a re-imagined low tech apocalyptic mid 90s vision of the American West, with stunning visual artwork.
Set in an alternative future, The Electric State tells the story of a teenage girl (Brown) who realizes that a strange but sweet robot who comes to her has actually been sent by her missing brother. She and the robot set out to find the brother in an imaginative world of humans mixing with all manner of robots, uncovering a grand conspiracy in the process.
Talking to Deadline, The Russo’s said “We’re thrilled to have this deal with Universal who has committed to a theatrical release of Electric State. This is incredible news for us as filmmakers, and for audiences around the world who want an opportunity to experience films in theaters again. This is also a positive sign that, as vaccines become available, the theatrical market is returning.”
Though Markus & McFeely were bummed at missing the opportunity to work with the Muschiettis, they are excited at the chance to reteam with the Russo’s once again on The Electric State. “We’d have Joe and Anthony direct everything that we write and were excited the timing worked out for them to come on as directors,” told McFeely. “What’s nice about this is the themes of Electric State syncs up with their interests in technology and feels like the perfect property for them.”
It was revealed that The Electric State was one of the first things the AGBO started developing after the production on Endgame had ended. While both writers said the task of not having Marvel to lean on is disheartening, they are also excited to help construct this brand new world.
“This is a very human story about a teenage girl with all the powers of a teenage girl and nothing more. Another thing we are really proud of when it comes to this story is all the major characters, barring one supporting character, are women which is super exciting to be involved in.”
After directing the highest-grossing movie of all time in Avengers: Endgame, the brothers started focusing on doing more projects for their AGBO productions. Since then the studio has been on a roll starting with 21 Bridges, starring Chadwick Boseman then Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth which became the most-watched original movie of all time for Netflix, and then Relic and Mosul, which has done well globally for Netflix.
Earlier this year, their next film Cherry, starring Tom Holland was landed at Apple and will be coming in 2021. Extraction 2 is in the works for Netflix with Joe Russo returning to write the script. On top of that, their next directing job, The Gray Man landed at Netflix with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans set to star. The film will be Netflix’s biggest budgeted production to date and also stars Ana De Armas, Julia Butters, Wagner Moura, and Jessica Henwick.
The Russo Brothers are also creating a live-action version of the animation classic, Hercules at Disney, and they are adapting the novel Exit West into a film, also for Netflix. The directing duo will certainly be busy for the next few years.
Meanwhile, Brown continues to stay busy as well as she is currently shooting the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. On the other side, her Netflix film Enola Holmes became one of the biggest hits on the streamer in 2020. She also recently attached to star and executive produce Netflix films Damsel and The Girls I’ve Been and she has written and will be producing, A Time Lost, for the streamer as well. She can be seen in Godzilla v Kong in 2021.
Writers Markus & McFeely has also penned The Gray Man for the Russo’s as well as recently exec produced the Netflix film Mosul, which AGBO also produced. Both the directing duo and the writing duo have produced a lot of great content together and looks like their collaboration has not finished yet. This promises us to expect still lot more quality work from this team. And having Brown as The Electric State lead is just icing on the cake.
The Electric State Book Synopsis
“A teen girl and her robot embark on a cross-country mission in this illustrated science fiction story, perfect for fans of Ready Player One and Black Mirror. In late 1997, a runaway teenager and her small yellow toy robot travel west through a strange American landscape where the ruins of gigantic battle drones litter the countryside, along with the discarded trash of a high-tech consumerist society addicted to a virtual-reality system. As they approach the edge of the continent, the world outside the car window seems to unravel at an ever faster pace, as if somewhere beyond the horizon, the hollow core of civilization has finally caved in”.
The reports suggest that even though The Electric State is being fast-tracked, Brown’s shooting schedule with Stranger Things Season 4 and the Russo’s directing The Gray Man adaptation from next month in LA, makes it uncertain when this would get into production but the hope is between the end of 2021 or early 2022.
What do you think of this news? Are you excited about The Electric State adaptation and the casting of Millie Bobby Brown? Have you read this graphic novel before? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media and be sure to come back to The Illuminerdi for more movie news.