It would be unfairly reductive to say that Edgar Wright’s movie choices are predictable, but they do tend to follow a certain tone or aesthetic—which is to say that they’re often funny or clever or unique in some way that a non-Edgar Wright movie wouldn’t even think to aspire to. He did his famous genre parodies with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, his adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim books is like a romantic musical but with video game-y fistfights instead of songs, and Baby Driver was as much a series of music videos as it was a heist movie. Hell, back in March we reported that he was working on a movie about a future robot dentist going on a road trip that will convince mankind to have more sympathy for machines. Anyone else making that movie would be weird, but attaching Edgar Wright makes a fair amount of sense.
What makes less sense is attaching Edgar Wright to what sounds like a relatively straightforward crime thriller that could conceivably stand as a successful movie without dipping into his sense of style. And yet, that’s what Deadline says is happening, with Wright attached to direct an adaptation of Adrian McKinty’s best-selling 2019 novel The Chain. The book, which just got picked up by Universal in a “seven-figure deal,” is about a woman who finds out her daughter has been kidnapped and that the only way she’ll get her back is if she kidnaps another person’s child, making her part of—dramatic pause—The Chain.
The adaptation is being written by Jane Goldman, who has some hits under her belt (Kingsman: The Golden Circle and X-Men: First Class, not to mention the Game Of Thrones spin-off that was unexpectedly dropped), and the novel was popular when it came out last year, so… why Edgar Wright? There’s no reason a straightforward adaptation wouldn’t work, and Wright doesn’t normally do that sort of thing. It’s weird, but maybe it’s weird in a good way? Maybe Wright and Universal are taking what could be a straightforward adaptation and are having some fun with it? We won’t know until the distant future, since Wright’s Last Night In Soho won’t come out until next year, and then he’s making that robot movie (as far as we know), and that’s all contingent on it even being safe to make movies again at some point.