Æon Flux (film)

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Æon Flux

Æon Flux movie poster
Directed by Karyn Kusama
Produced by David Gale
Gregory Goodman
Gale Anne Hurd
Gary Lucchesi
Written by Phil Hay
Matt Manfredi
Starring Charlize Theron
Sophie Okonedo
Marton Csokas
Jonny Lee Miller
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
Editing by Peter Honess
Plummy Tucker
Jeff Gullo
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) December 2, 2005
Running time 92 min.
Language English
Budget $62,000,000
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Æon Flux is a science fiction film produced by Paramount Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment. It was released on December 2, 2005. The film is a loose adaptation of the animated science fiction television series Æon Flux, which was created by animator Peter Chung (who had a minor role in this film version of his work). The film stars Charlize Theron as the title character.


[edit] Plot summary

The film takes place 400 years into a post-apocalyptic future, after a virus has wiped out ninety-nine percent of the Earth's 2011 population. The survivors inhabit Bregna, a walled city-state, which is ruled by a congress of scientists. Æon Flux is an assassin-member of the 'Monicans', an underground rebel organization led by The Handler. When Æon is sent on a mission to kill the government's leader, Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas), she uncovers that she is the unwitting part of a secret coup. This discovery brings into question the origin and destiny of everyone in Bregna; and in particular, Æon's personal connection to the man she has been sent to assassinate.

The film incorporates numerous elements from episodes of the TV series, most notably the episode "A Last Time For Everything," as well as from Æon Flux: the Herodotus File, a graphic novel that was based upon the series.

[edit] Production

The screenplay was written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (writers of teen drama–romance Crazy/Beautiful and action–comedy The Tuxedo), and directed by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight). The character of Æon Flux was played by Oscar-winner Charlize Theron. This film was produced by an MTV Films production. It is unusual for an MTV Films production in that it is an action film.

In the early stages of production, actress Michelle Rodriguez was considered for the part of Æon. This was perhaps due to her previous partnership with director Kusama in Girlfight.

Karyn Kusama had originally suggested filming in Brasília, Brazil because the architecture of that city fit with her vision of Bregna. The idea was rejected because Brasília lacked the infrastructure and technical expertise to facilitate a major film production. After scouting several cities around the world, Berlin, Germany was chosen as the location for filming. This was also appropriate as the original comic series also featured a divided city. Berlin had several locations that fit into the organic yet structured world of Æon Flux. The crew was able to gain access to several locations that had never allowed filming before including the Treptow Crematorium, the Trudelturm wind tunnel facility and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt ("House of the World's Cultures"). Additional locations include the handler space, a dissection theatre built in 1790 to train vets and the government buildings, set in the Berlin animal shelter [1].

Filming was temporarily suspended for a month during September 2004 while Theron recovered from a neck injury she suffered during stunt-work on the tenth day of shooting while performing a back handspring. She was hospitalized in Berlin for five days and it took about six weeks of physiotherapy to recover.

The film contains a Wilhelm Scream, heard in a firefight as a Breen soldier falls off a roof.

[edit] Cast

[edit] Reception

[edit] Criticism

Charlize Theron as Æon, in a fight scene from the film.
Charlize Theron as Æon, in a fight scene from the film.

Paramount Pictures chose not to allow critics to review this film until two hours before it opened. This move, which made it impossible for critics to include reviews in the next day's paper, made some critics expect a bad film. The vast majority of reviews were negative. Some critics were surprised to change their prior assumptions.[1] The film took in only US$13.1 million in its opening weekend.

A number of people [attribution needed] have criticized the marketing of this film, questioning the wisdom of releasing a science fiction action film during the holiday season (where light family-fare is the norm) with a minimum of promotion and sandwiched between two sure-fire box office dominators (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).

In many early and post-release interviews, Peter Chung was cautiously optimistic or evasive in his opinion of the film, in the following month he publicly criticized the movie in an interview [2]. Phil Hay, one of the scriptwriters for the film, gave a response on the same website [3]. Producer Gale Anne Hurd described a visit from Peter Chung to the set in her DVD commentary (at 1:06:49), "And this is also when Peter Chung visited the set... and it was great to have him there, and have him feel that Charlize was bringing Æon Flux to life the way that he had envisioned an actor would be able to. And that he thought that the world of Bregna that we had created in the film was what he hoped it would be." This seems at odds with Chung's public statement that the film is a "travesty" and seeing it in a theater made him feel "helpless, humiliated and sad."

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi mentioned in an interview [4] on dvdfile.com, conducted on May 5, 2006, that the film was recut by the studio prior to release and that original director's cut contains nearly 30 minutes of additional footage. Hay and Manfredi praised Kusama's original version over the theatrically-released film.

[edit] Box Office

On February 6, 2006, Æon Flux completed its theatrical run, grossing a domestic take of $25,877,366 and a worldwide box office total of $52,307,030.[2]

[edit] Comic book prequel

In late 2005, Dark Horse Comics published a four-issue comic book limited series tying in with the movie. The storyline serves as a prequel to the film and is a mixture of Peter Chung's original TV series designs and characters combined with the setting and story elements of the movie. (There are some alterations: the comic book version of Æon only loosely resembles Theron, while her colleague Sithandra, played by a black actress in the film, is depicted as a caucasian in the comic book). The first issue sets up Æon Flux's mission for the miniseries: sabotage the Bregnan government's plan to destroy the forest outside of Bregna's walls. The last two issues of the limited series were published after the film had been released, and by the time the final issue came out, the film had already ended its run in most areas. Dark Horse has not announced if any further Æon Flux-based comics will be published.

[edit] Video game

On November 15, 2005, a video game adaptation of the same name was released in North America for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox gaming consoles.

[edit] DVD

Æon Flux was released on DVD on April 25, 2006. As of July 16, 2006, the DVD has grossed $31.80 million in rental sales.[3]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Æon Flux DVD, The Locations of Æon Flux featurette.
  2. ^ Box Office Mojo - Theatrical information.. Retrieved on June 28, 2006.
  3. ^ Box Office Mojo - DVD and home video sales.. Retrieved on June 28, 2006.

[edit] External links