Arnold Schwarzenegger/Abigail Breslin Zombie Drama, Maggie, Debuts in May
Maggie is different approach to the zombie genre.
Maggie tells the story of a Midwestern teen, played by Abigail Breslin, who is missing and afflicted with a virus that will turn her into a zombie. Her devoted father, Wade, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, finds his girl and stays but her side during her heart-breaking, horrific last days.
Instead of a high concept romp full of plasma squishing and other virulent special effects worthy of a doomsday epic, Maggie is a low-budget drama, filmed for an estimated four million dollars and focuses on acting.
It has a limited theatrical release in addition to being available digitally via video on demand starting May 8th.
We've Never Seen Arnold Like This
The film featured at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival last month and garnered praise, particularly for the performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Such is not familiar territory for the actor whose body of work has been more involved with explosions, gun fights and glib catch phrases.
For the most part, reviewers seemed to repeat the notion that it is a Schwarzenegger performance the likes of which has been, to date, unseen. It is controlled, restrained and nuanced.
Abigail Breslin also garnered her share of kudos for portrayal of a teen facing a most grim terminal diagnosis, knowing that things,for her, will end very badly.
What The Critics Think
Guy Lodge, a film critic for Variety, expressed respect for both leads performers. For Schwarzenegger, he thought highly of his anguished dad while, at the same time thought Ms. Breslin in her transition from heroine to deadly threat whose destruction is imminent.
Reviewer Eric Kohn, of indiewire.com, considers Maggie “the first tearjerker of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career.”
John DeFore, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, considers Maggie a “sensitively made, surprisingly straight drama.”
Could Arnold Get Award Consideration?
Speculation abounds as to the possibility of Mr. Schwarzenegger getting consideration in the upcoming awards season. Should that notion carry weight, it has been nearly forty years since his receiving a Golden Globe Award for Best New Male Star for his performance in Stay Hungry.
To that point, if the positing is on target and the Austrian-born thespian gets any acting award; it might make a record of one of the longest time spans between (serious) honors.
On the other hand, his nominations for Razzie Awards for bad acting are fairly considerable.
Maggie at Tribeca
Info About The Film
One aside about the film I noticed about Maggie reviews was a few compliments about the attractive “Midwestern” setting.
As the Times-Picayune astutely-pointed out, Maggie was filmed on location in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, where the film-tax credit friendly environment have made the region known as “The Hollywood of the South.”
One can’t get much less Midwestern than Louisiana.
Such is the magic of show business.
Another aside, the screenplay for Maggie was written by first-time scribe, John Scott 3. (No Roman numerals.)
The script made prestigious The Black List. It is a compilation of filmdom’s best-liked but un-filmed screenplays.
The new writer was also given a producer credit for Maggie.
Henry Hobson directed Maggie. It was his first feature film. Mr. Hobson is a considerably-talented graphic designer whose work, in addition to films and video games, also includes Academy Awards shows.
Aside from Schwarzenegger and Breslin, the Maggie cast also includes Joely Richardson as well as Aiden and Carson Flowers, J.D. Evermore and Raeden Greer.
The film runs 95 minutes.
Plan To See Maggie?
It will be interesting to see if the Maggie finds a mass audience.
On one hand, it’s relatively direct storyline.
Will it attract fans of zombie genre films, thinking it is another of the same thing?
Will it attract Schwarzenegger fans, thinking it is the big guy beating the cannibal tendencies out of the walking dead?
For that matter, are his fans interested in seeing him in a tear-jerker?
Should they prefer the same old, same old, he “will be back” on the screens again July 1st for Terminator Genisys. Such an endeavor is considerably more familiar territory for him.
Ms. Breslin next appears on screen in Final Girl which is expected to be released some time in 2015.