It is forever night in the City of Ember . In the sky there are no moon or stars. There is light for 12 hours of the normal day, but that comes from floodlamps that cast a amber glow over the streets of the city. In all directions beyond are the pitch-black ‘Unknown Regions’, which have never been explored because an understanding of fire and electricity has gone from the memory, and with it the idea of a portable light.
They think they are alone in the world and they have all forgotten their past as well as any sense of direction for the furture. Vast store rooms have kept them living and surviving for the past 250 year, but now there are more and more empty shelves--and more and more times when the lights flicker and go out, leaving them in terrifying blackness for long minutes.
What will happen when it all runs out?
Twelve-year-olds Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet seem to be the only people who are worried. They have been assigned their life jobs--Lina as a messenger, which leads her to knowledge of some unsettling secrets, and Doon as a Pipeworker, repairing the plumbing in the tunnels under the city where a river roars through the darkness. But when Lina finds a very old paper with enigmatic "Instructions for Egress," they use the advantages of their jobs to begin to puzzle out the frightening and dangerous way to the city of light of which Lina has dreamed.
Lo and behold an original idea, being adapted from Jeanne DuPrau's young adult novel. This sounds like a story that could be really stunning in the visual department. The tem young adult worries me as most of the time movies aimed at kids/teens tend to treat them like they are morons. Maybe most of them are, but from personal experience, I always preferred to watch the adult movies when I was a teen. Films aimed at my generation seemed to childish, but the adult movies made me feel all grown up, regardless of the rating.
This would really benefit from being approached as an adult film starring teenagers, like “Pan’s Labyrinth” was. Forget your audience and market it for adults and slap it with a PG-13 rating.
I am a little worried with the casting of Bill Murray as the city's corrupt mayor. It just really screams unneccessary hamming as only he can do.
Toby Jones and Saoirse Ronan will also star. Gil Kenan will direct (phew) and Caroline Thompson will adapt the book, and she has a pretty great resume.