The news that Kiera Knightley is heading up the cloning-oriented sci-fi thriller Never Let Me Go is mildly interesting news, I suppose. It’s a good break from costume dramas, and bound to be better than her last pseudo-scifi outing: The Jacket.
But the meat of the news is that Andrew Macdonald is producing and Alex Garland writing. That’s two thirds of the trio which, along with Danny Boyle, was responsible for 28 Days Later and Sunshine. (Macdonald produced all of Boyle’s features except Millions and Slumdog Millionaire.) Mark Romanek is directing, making this his first feature since 2002’s One Hour Photo. I wasn’t convinced by Photo, but I like this creative team a lot. Presuming Romanek can resist using some of the overbearing color filters and music video techniques that washed over his first feature, that is.
Never Let Me Go is a Fox Searchlight project; Andrew Garfield (great in Boy A) and Carey Mulligan are in the cast, too.
EDIT: Variety doesn’t explicitly mention the book, but the plot as described in the trade (story revolves around a trio who grew up in a boarding school with no
contact or knowledge of the outside world until they discover they are
clones grown for the sole purpose of organ donation) sounds an awful lot like it comes from Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel of the same name. If so, then Knightley will likely play Kathy, the book’s narrator who is an alumnus of the boarding school. The novel is more about the nature of humanity and the capacity to endure than the thrills of cloning. Leads one to wonder exactly what Garland might have done to make the thing more palatable as quick entertainment. Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s 2004 film Innocence (which predates the novel) has some of the spirit that Garland and Romanek will have to capture…now I’m even more curious to see how this works out.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey