Back when it was officially announced in late 2016, Chaos Walking looked like a certain winner for Lionsgate.
With Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in the lead roles – fresh from joining major franchises in Spider-Man and Star Wars – and based on a popular young-adult sci-fi book series, Chaos Walking was sure to follow in the footsteps of Twilight and The Hunger Games as the Next Big Thing.
Well, not quite. Despite a schedule release date of March 1, 2019, we've not yet seen anything from the movie, so what the hell is happening with it?
The movie originally finished shooting in November 2017, but the first signs that delays were in store came in April 2018 when it was announced there were going to be "significant reshoots", according to The Hollywood Reporter.
And since they had two very in-demand actors in the lead roles, those reshoots weren't expected to happen until late 2018 or even early 2019 due to scheduling issues.
"The first of several planned adaptations of a series of young-adult science fiction novels cost around $100 million to produce but turned out so poorly it was deemed unreleasable by executives who watched initial cuts last year, according to current and former employees," they wrote.
Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer said: "We wouldn't be shooting more if we didn't think we could make this movie work."
Chaos Walking's planned March 2019 release had to be delayed and those reshoots ended up taking place in April 2019.
Director Doug Liman is no stranger to making a complex movie work as he showed with Edge of Tomorrow, but he's called Chaos Walking his most "creatively challenging" movie to date in a recent interview with Collider.
Apparently, the reshoots weren't a "whole re-conceiving" of the movie, despite the reports that it was 'unreleasable'.
"It's just a moment that we're changing," explained Liman. "I've always just pushed and pushed and pushed, until I've made the film the absolute best it could possibly be. It's infuriating to the studios and the people around me that I’m not gonna stop until we’ve made every moment as strong as it can possibly be."
Like the novels it's based on, the movie takes place in the near future in a world where almost all women have been killed by a virus, and anyone left living can hear each other's thoughts through 'The Noise'.
That is until one day Todd Hewitt (Holland) discovers a patch of silence and a mysterious girl called Viola (Ridley) living there.
Sounds trippy, but no stranger than a future world where young people compete in a televised battle to the death.
A potential issue for Lionsgate is that the boom period for YA adaptations has died down significantly since Chaos Walking was greenlit. The final part of the Divergent trilogy was cancelled and YA movie adaptations are not the guaranteed cash-cows that they once were.
That's natural as trends come and go in the movie business, but it does make releasing something like Chaos Walking more of a challenge, despite the combined star power of its leads and a cast that also includes Nick Jonas, Mads Mikkelsen and Cynthia Erivo.
Liman seems pretty confident that the movie is nearly ready for release, yet there's not a confirmed release date for it. That doesn't mean it won't come out in 2020 of course, just that it'll be a challenge to find a release window for it where it's not competing against established franchises like James Bond, Wonder Woman and Fast & Furious.
Perhaps it'll be the next big-budget movie to launch on Netflix as it feels tailor-made for it. Given how much Lionsgate has invested, though, it feels like they'd want to give Chaos Walking a major theatrical release.
Still, could be worse – it could be The New Mutants.
Chaos Walking will be released at some point, probably.
Digital Spy is launching a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.