Movies · News

The Russo Brothers and the Director of ‘It’ are Collaborating

‘The Electric State’ feels like an evolution of sorts for Andy Muschietti’s horror roots.
Andy Muschietti It
By  · Published on December 15th, 2017

Deadline has learned that Andy Muschietti is in negotiations direct an adaptation of “The Electric State” for the Russo Brothers.

Russo Brothers Studio has acquired the rights to the novel in what Deadline called a “heated bidding war”. “The Electric State” is narrative art book from acclaimed writer Simon Stålenhag, with a story not unlike a “re-imagined low tech apocalyptic mid 90s vision of the American West.” The alternate timeline story, set in a different 1997, follows a teenage girl on the run with her yellow toy robot. They travel through a version of the United States where the remnants of battle drones mix with the trash of a high-tech consumerist society.

Chilling snippets of the art from “The Electric State” can be viewed in trailer form on the Kickstarter campaign for the book, and it honestly looks stunning. The tech-based dystopia of Stålenhag’s novel is thankfully not completely reminiscent of the Blade Runners of years past. Of course, with anything tech-related, there’s an expectation of the towering metal structures that keep cities running. But the rich, vibrant color palettes in the images to the whimsical, if creepy music choice in the trailer, Stålenhag’s 90s America creates a rather nightmarish landscape that also includes ‘rubber’ ducks the size of buildings, and utterly bizarre and intriguing things like this:

The Electric State

The Electric State is still in development, but with Stålenhag himself on board to executive produce, it would seem promising that most of his unusual, mischievous artwork will make it into the final product. The Electric State looks like a book that would lend fabulously to any onscreen treatment and with a director like Muschietti behind the camera, it could end up being rather emotionally powerful too.

No everyone was totally enamored by Mama, the feature film that Muschietti directed based on his own short film, but for me, it captured a dynamic of family and that adds to the scares, because it creates some kind of investment in the characters. And we know how much of a hit It was by now because of the commitment to character. So, Muschietti has an affinity for bringing deep-seated, basal fears to the surface and make them compelling, and The Electric State definitely combines the creepy with elements of the real world.

Anthony and Joe Russo have released a statement with Deadline expressing their excitement for the project. “The opportunity to partner with inspirational talents like Simon, Andy, Chris and Steve is exactly the reason we started our company. We can’t wait to help this team create something special.”

The Russos are keeping busy developing new projects for their company, including the next film by the Swiss Army Man team, the Morten Tyldum-directed Exit West, a series of SyFy called Deadly Class, Mastermind, and a Larry Charles project. But arguably, their biggest project will be Avengers: Infinity War, which is due out next May. Meanwhile, Muschietti is also hard at work on the TV series Locke and Key, and the upcoming It: Chapter Two which will hit theaters in 2019.

Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)