The Last Post-Apocalyptic Movie You’d Think of is Getting a Prequel Series
Crack open The Book of Eli.
We may be awash in apocalyptic movies and shows, but most of them skip ahead to the dramatic aftermath. The Last of Us gave us flashes of pre-fungus zombie life, but franchises like A Quiet Place and Snowpiercer focus on where we wound up, not how we came to be. Now, however, a forgotten 2010 post-apocalyptic movie is getting a second life on television, but instead of continuing the story, it will flash back to the beginning of the end.
Deadline reports that John Boyega will be the star and executive producer of a prequel series to The Book of Eli, where he’ll play a younger version of Denzel Washington’s Eli, a wandering survivor of a nuclear firestorm.
The movie, which follows the resolute Eli as he tries to get a now-rare Bible to the West Coast of an irradiated United States, was met with mixed reviews, but made enough money to justify another kick at the can. However, this prequel has a twist. While the original movie was set 30 years after the apocalypse, the upcoming series is reportedly set while the apocalypse is happening, meaning we’ll see the story’s “Big Flash” actually happen.
A post-apocalyptic story being followed by a prequel about the apocalypse itself is suddenly all the rage: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes followed the events leading up to Planet of the Apes, Fear the Walking Dead did the same with The Walking Dead, and the upcoming A Quiet Place: Day One will do the same with A Quiet Place.
The Book of Eli lacks the recency and cultural legacy of those properties, which may actually work in its favor. Eli dies at the end, but the TV series has a blank slate to show us how he became the grizzled survivor we know he becomes. It’s a decent way to slide a new narrative into an existing property.
Gary Whitta, The Book of Eli’s screenwriter, will serve as showrunner, which should help keep the story coherent. Hopefully a fresh face, new medium, and completely different setting can help The Show of Eli stand out amid all the other post-apocalyptic franchises, and give its source material a second life in the streaming age.