Knightley and Mulligan Join Alex Garland's Never Let Me Go

March 2, 2009

Carey Mulligan (L) and Keira Knightley (R)

Fox Searchlight is developing a new sci-fi cloning-themed thriller titled Never Let Me Go written by Alex Garland, the writer behind Danny Boyle's films The Beach, 28 Days Later, and Sunshine. Music video director Mark Romanek, of only One Hour Photo previously, will be directing. Also announced is that Keira Knightley will star alongside of Andrew Garfield and Sundance's rising star, Carey Mulligan. DNA Films is producing the film, which will shoot starting in April in England. There a lot of important names involved in this project, so even if you don't like Keira Knightley much, I'd suggest you still keep your eye on this.

The story in Never Let Me Go revolves around a trio (Knightley, Garfield, and Mulligan) who grew up in a boarding school with no contact or knowledge of the outside world until they discover they are clones grown for the sole purpose of organ donation. That sounds a lot like Michael Bay's The Island, in fact, I think that's the exact same plot. But considering this is coming from the rather brilliant mind of Alex Garland, I've got a feeling it's going to be a bit different and yet so much more. And lastly, the cast member I'm most looking forward to seeing is Carey Mulligan, definitely not Keira Knightley, as she's not that exciting anymore.

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News, Opinions



I like Keira but she need to do a Bonham-Carter and show she can do more than by the numbers period drama's. Unconvincing in Domino

pompom on Mar 2, 2009


She's a good actress, but she needs to stop oscarbating, and concentrate on the script, story, and challenging characters. She's played the same character for a long time, but she only needs a couple more different movies to prove that she is a versatile actress.

David Wilson on Mar 2, 2009


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. She's NOT playing in another period piece? I'm calling a fake on this one.

Lopretni on Mar 2, 2009


this movie is based on the novel by kazuo ishiguro, not alex garland. i liked the book a lot, but can't immagine it becoming a good movie.

virgil on Mar 2, 2009


This isn't coming from the mind of Alex Garland alone. It's based on the fantastic novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. You should give that credit, Alex. And it's nothing like The Island.

Cinemassiv on Mar 2, 2009


Put in a little more research -- it's not coming directly from Garland, nor is it a retread of "The Island". Garland's adapting it from Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel of the same name. It's a dark, challenging read that just happened to be included on TIME magazine's 100 Best Novels from 1923-2005 list. (The same list, mind you, that validated "Watchmen" as real literature). Garland's script has been sitting around for some time, even making "The Brit List", a list of best unproduced screenplays in British film (similar to the oft-referenced "Black List" here on our side of the Atlantic). Alex, I'd encourage you to pick up a copy of the novel to get a better idea of what Romanek and Garland are going to present onscreen.

akjacobson on Mar 2, 2009


I am not too excited for it. it sounds exactly like THE ISLAND and I mean exactly. Also, while I don't mind Kiera, I don't care for her as well.

Ryan on Mar 2, 2009


Yes, Alex, it sounds like the exact same concept for The Island, which had the exact same concept as Michael Marshall Smith's novel Spares. With this and Bay's movie it seems unlikely we'll ever get a straight adaptation of Marshall's book, which is a shame because it's great. I believe Dreamworks, who made The Island, bought the rights to the novel so they could sidestep any accusations of theft... but I'm not sure what the excuse will be for the latest movie! Nevertheless, Garland is a fine writer (his novel of The Beach is wonderful, so don't blame him for that disappointing film - the screenplay was by John Hodge) and I'm always interested to see what he does next. Plus, with Romanek at the helm, it should look great if nothing else.

Mathieu on Mar 2, 2009


It's actually an adaptation of a 2005 novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains Of The Day), as it turns out. As far as originality goes it's one of those chicken/egg kind of things, clearly!

Mathieu on Mar 2, 2009


One last post - after reading back what I typed, I should clarify that when I said "I believe Dreamworks, who made The Island, bought the rights to the novel so they could sidestep any accusations of theft…" in my first post, that was poor phrasing on my part. I didn't mean to suggest that the reason Dreamworks bought the rights was purely to excuse any plaigarism on any subsequent film. I just meant they already owned the rights to a book with that idea in it, so they didn't do anything dodgy...

Mathieu on Mar 2, 2009


I've read the book. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2005 and is regarded as one of the best modern English novels of the past 10 years. Imagine The Island with a huge IQ, completely character based, more philosophical and psychological, and no action. The book is extremely subtle - some would say to the point of frustration. It is not explicitly sci-fi, although the subject of the book are clones and does take place in a kind of alternative England with only subtle changes. The book is much more about caste and the idea that given your role within a society, you end up being defined and eventually trapped within that role.

bb6640 on Mar 2, 2009


"Music video director Mark Romanek, of only One Hour Photo previously..." and Static... f*cked up movie from 1986 or so

avant576 on Mar 2, 2009


ha. i worked at this movie theatre for a while, and one of the other guys was talking to a friend of mine about eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. he said, 'you mean the 50 first dates rip-off?'

Zach on Mar 2, 2009


I completely agree with you Alex, this does sound very similar to the Island (which stunk, fuck Michael bay while I'm at) and i'm not too thrilled about see Keira Knightley again, but I think she knows she can do better, and she's going to wow us within the next few years - my personal prediction. It may not be this picture, but she's definitely not done yet.

Conrad on Mar 2, 2009


You gave away the ending of the book, fool. The fact that they are cloned is the whole twist of the thing, it's what the entire plot leads to. Sure, there are underlying themes that are probably more important but if you know that they are cloned and why, the whole story pretty much ruined.

Kevin on Mar 2, 2009


"You gave away the ending of the book, fool. The fact that they are cloned is the whole twist of the thing, it's what the entire plot leads to." Actually no. The fact that the characters are clones isn't really a twist. The reader figures it out early and the characters know they are clones early in the story. It's actually mentioned in passing and isn't written as a shocking twist. It's just there. The fact that the characters are acutely aware that they serve a specific function in society and cannot deviate from that purpose and how they deal with that is what the story is really about.

bb6640 on Mar 2, 2009


Keira Knightley is still so great an actress....I can't wait to see her in this role. I'm glad she's switching it up to a sci-fi kind of film.

athena on Mar 2, 2009


I love Keira, this is a good video for that people can see the violence in the woman and do something, this video is like the video clip of Black Roses a band of Argentina, they have a video clip where we can see the injustice in the world. The video clip is about a song called nadie nos detendra, and you can see this video in youtube or other sites. I love Keira and Black Roses!

megan on Jul 28, 2009

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