(Release Info London schedule; August 2nd, 2018, Silver City, 19:00)
"The Darkest Minds"
When Ruby Daly (Lidya Jewett)) woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government rehabilitation camp. She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse; frightening abilities they cannot control. Now sixteen, Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her; East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam Stewart (Harris Dickinson), their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
Ruby has been imprisoned for six years, and ultimately she meets up with a group of kids who are the closest thing to family that she's got. When Ruby escapes from the camp, it’s very free and youthful and happy spirited. The character of Ruby is pretty tough. She's really passionate. She stands her ground. She knows what she wants. Orange is the color classification for those who developed telepathic abilities. Ruby is classified as an orange and develops the ability to read minds, influence people's actions and thoughts, alter or erase memories, and change the feelings of others. It's a fantastic and critical component in a movie that's about difference and the embracing the championing of difference. Ruby is a kind of the make-or-break decision on this film. She's kind of profound in the way she thinks about things and feels things and she really responded to this material and had the right depth, the right ability to hold some things back and to not kind of give it all up and reveal all of who she's in every frame, which is very important to this movie.
The whole movie is a quest for this ‘slip kids’ camp. And for this camp where supposedly kids live free, the character of Clancy Clay (Patrick Gibson) is pretty critical because he runs this utopian kind of what could be a ‘Lord Of The Flies’, ‘Maze Runner’, kid-only civilization or outpost, with order, with kindness, with charisma. There's even the possibility of a love triangle between Clancy, Ruby and Liam. Clancy is also classified as an orange and develops telepathic abilities. The character of Liam led an uprising and is on the run. He’s fiercely protective of this young girl named Zu (Miya Cech), who escaped with him. The character doesn’t talk for ninety-five percent of the movie and that’s not easy. The character of Zu, who we learn, over the course of the movie, has been through real trauma; way more trauma than someone that age should ever have to go through. Blue is the color classification for those who developed telekinetic powers. Liam is classified as a blue and he develops the ability to move objects with his mind. Gold is the color classification for those who developed electrokinetic powers. Zu is classified as a gold and develops the ability to create and control electricity.
Travelling on the quest to the slip kids camp with Ruby and Liam is Chubs (Skylan Brooks). Chubs is not only a dimensional and authentic character the way all of our characters are, but he brings a certain levity. He kind of calls it like it's. When he sees something brewing between Ruby and Liam, he’s going to name it even if it makes people uncomfortable. And that you need that levity in a world, and in a film, that has some heavy themes and some intense scenes and sequences. And the tone of the Chubs character is that really, kind of winning, comedic aspect in the midst of this virtual family that’s making their way through the landscape. Green is the color classification for individuals who developed enhanced mental and intellectual powers. Chubs is classified as a Green (telekinetic). Chubs develops heightened problem solving abilities and a photographic memory. Cate (Mandy Moore) is a doctor who tries to help Ruby. She's basically a savior of sorts. Lady Jane (Gwendoline Christie) is a bounty hunter who hunts the children down. She's this kind of road warrior/bounty hunter, traversing the landscape looking for escaped kids, trying to collect a bounty, trying to take them out. She needs to be scary, but the film wants her to be kind of scary and a threat in an interesting and different kind of way.
"The Darkest Minds" is an adaptation of the best-selling book by Alexandra Bracken, the first in a YA trilogy ('The Darkest Minds', 'Never Fade', and 'In The Afterlight'). There’s a reason why there are fans of this particular series of books. They resonate with the characters. They resonate with the message, and they resonate with the concept of it. 'The Darkest Minds' starts in a turbulent America where 98% of the children’s population has died of a mysteries disease, deeming the 2% of the surviving children enemies of the state and forcing them on the run. So it's kind of a journey for all the characters do build in the fact that they have to meet each other, find out what each person does. Then they find that they're a little scared of each other because they don't know if each one of them is going turn them in. And so it becomes their part of their trust each other. Once they trust each other, now they can go out and help each other to try and get to where they need to get in the end. But bad guys are always after them and that's the bad part about it is they never know who's their friend and who's their foe. This movie shows that in the end, that what people see as a liability or a difference is actually a power.
The movie is about kids being able to use these powers in order to survive, it’s a lot of action, but it’s also a lot of heart. “The Darkest Minds” hinges on audiences identifying with the character's struggles and being able to see themselves in this nightmare. The film feels like a reality that we live in today and recognize. It’s what makes the powers unique, they contrast with our otherwise normal reality. You should be able to imagine being able to go out right now and see someone doing these amazing things. More than ever in the world we're aware of our own mortality. We live in turbulent times, and as a consequence these dystopian stories have greater relevance to our lives than ever because the potential for it to become a reality is great. And it’s so universal, in that it’s about kids growing up into teenagers and discovering that they they’re different, which people don’t understand, especially adults and the government. So they’re thrown into camps. And the story follows these children becoming young adults and learning to stand up for themselves and protect themselves. The fear of fitting in and the search for acceptance often follows us into adulthood.
This story is about a world that's not very different from ours. The majority of the population of children has died. And the kids who are left have developed these mental abilities that are inexplicable. And so, because of these abilities, the adults are afraid of them and they put them into camps. And so, this particular story focuses on this girl who escapes from one of these camps and what happens when she finds a family of her own on the outside. Anyone who's been a teenager can relate to this story. And that's really something we feel that set us apart, that when people see this trailer and when people get to go see the film, they're going to realize, this is a film about now and about something that feels very real and that could happen tomorrow, despite the sort of fantasy and the power element of it. It feels to us much more grounded and real and it takes place tomorrow as opposed to some dystopian future with a new world order. There are number themes that kind of run through the spine of the movie. It’s very much a film about belonging and in that regard, this movie happens to be about kids with some powers, but there’s no one who’s ever lived who hasn’t wrestled with that search for identity.
It’s a search that's often at it's most heightened in adolescence, and so that’s the focus of the film. It's ultimately about a small group of kids with powers, super-human powers, that they don’t yet fully understand, who find each other by being collectively on the run from the authorities. And it’s about the way in which they rely on and connect with each other as they search for others like them. It might be dealing with intense themes and events, but the movie is fundamentally really hopeful. It’s hopeful about the possibility of connection and the possibility of acceptance. This movie transcends all ages. It’s not just about being a teenager. Everyone has been in that place when they're not completely comfortable with who they're. It’s about facing the things about you that you aren’t happy with, that you consider a flaw, and being able to grow into this place of being able to embrace those things. Being able to access what makes you unique and use it as a strength. This story follows a character that, in the beginning, is powerless and essentially frightened and ashamed of what she's. And by the end, you watch her grow. You watch her become this empowered strong character being able to do things she never thought she could do. Everyone can identify with that journey.
The film connects very strongly to our times, to our political situation, severe and deeply upsetting and awful refugee situations around the world, and that in terms of our media, we’re starting to, connect more with human beings that are seemingly different from us, and recognize that those differences aren’t so great after all. And that we can recognize, the humanity in each other, and what it's to need comfort, to need shelter, to need liberty, It’s very much a landscape that is the natural world that, although it's now devoid of young people, is still beautiful and lush and filled with hope. The whole point of the book is showing the hope of people triumphing through these prejudices and using their abilities and surrogate families and being accepted by others who understand what it takes to be free. "The Darkest Minds" is going to give audiences a hell of a ride. It’s going to be a ride that will be thrilling in that it has action, it has adventure, it has super-visual set pieces, battle scenes, powers being used; all of that. Audiences can also expect a deeply emotional experience with this movie because although it’s filled with spectacle and just cool visceral sequences, at it's core it’s also really about characters looking for where they belong and discovering ultimately that where they belong is with each other.