Despite what is clearly a hardy seed of an idea, and plenty of people tending its development through the last few years, the new cinematic outing for John Wyndham’s The Day Of The Triffids hasn’t been able to take root on the big screen. All involved, including producers Don Murphy, Mark Gordon, Susan Montford and Sam Raimi, are hoping that Mike Newell could be the man to make it sprout anew.
Triffids, for those who need the briefing, follows a devastating time for humanity when the growth of aggressive flora with poisonous, face-swiping stingers is followed a while later by a meteor shower that blinds a good proportion of the Earth’s population. Our sighted hero, Bill Masen, is in hospital after being attacked by one of the rampaging stalk-ers and must try to help fellow survivors make it through an England now dominated by the plants.
Although, like John Carter, some key ideas and tone have been plundered by other films (28 Days Later, for example, nailed the feel of a eerie, post-apocalyptic London), there’s still the chance a great film can be made from Wyndham’s story. That’s despite previous attempts – including the 1962 film and two BBC TV dramas – failing to do it justice.
Newell, with a grasp of both character drama and effects (partly thanks to his experience on Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire), certainly seems like the man to take up the mantle. With a script by Luther’s Neil Cross to hand, we’ll keep our petals crossed.