Apocalypse now: Keira Knightley and Steve Carell doomsday romance begins shooting

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Image Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

What happens when it’s the end of the world as we know it and you don’t feel fine?

Keira Knightley and Steve Carell find out today as production begins on their “pre-apocalyptic” romantic-comedy Seeking a Friend For the End of the World, one of Hollywood’s more unusual approaches to the well-trod disaster epic genre.

Knightley plays Penny and Carell stars as Dodge, two lonely hearts who find they don’t have time to procrastinate anymore in the search for romance. While the movies have ended the world many times over, rarely has that concept been used to tell a love story. “And it’s funny,” James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features, tells EW. “It’s one of the most audacious conceits.”

Here is the world-killing scenario that drives them together:

Seeking a Friend, directed by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), is shooting around Los Angeles with plans for release in 2012 (unless that Mayan prophecy turns out to be true, of course).

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Image Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

While the 26-year-old Knightley and the 48-year-old Carell might seem like an odd couple, that’s the point. There’s a lot of humor in hopelessness. And no time to be picky. “It opens with the news report that the laser ray we sent into outer space to try to knock out this meteor shower just didn’t work and so the meteors are coming in a few days. That’s it,” Schamus says. “End of report.”

With no possibility of survival, the other denizens of the doomed world have a choice, Schamus says: “Time to go home now, or: Let’s party.” The cast includes Melanie Lynskey (Up in the Air), Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), and William Petersen (TV’s CSI.)

Carell and Knightley’s characters are “two people who live more life in those few days, and really get the hope they hadn’t had in their lives before, because they weren’t fully living them,” Schamus says. “Once that sense of mortality really does enter into it, they find they’re given the space to be who they are.”

Well, at least temporarily.

Follow EW’s Anthony Breznican on Twitter @Breznican.


Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • Hayley

    It is so refreshing to see Keira Knightley in an American movie. I hope she does more of them from now on.

  • e4ia

    I thought the Rapture begins on Saturday? They better rush this one out…..

  • Trill

    Cute. They’ll make an odd-but-sweet (and somehow exactly right) pair.

  • jay

    “While the 26-year-old Knightley and the 48-year-old Carell might seem like an odd couple, that’s the point.”

    the problem is… that’s really not that odd at all, at least not in hollywood. i dunno, i just would have loved- if only for the comedic potential if the genders had been switched and it had been an older actress with a younger guy. just for a change of pace.

  • ST

    This sounds good. I’m looking forward to this and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”.

  • Angela

    I think this sounds very promising. It would be nice to see Keira Knightley do something funnier, and I like that Steve Carell has been choosing more interesting projects than one might’ve expected. I literally squealed when I saw that Melanie Lynskey is in it; she’s such an underrated actress. The concept for the story sounds very cool, and they could definitely go a lot of places with this.

  • alan of montreal

    While she hasn’t quite reached the heights of her Heavenly Creatures co-star Kate Winslet, it’s nice to see that Melanie Lynskey has managed to carve out a career for herself in the industry.

  • Jenny

    The movie premise sounds refreshing and I’m glad Knightley is doing a comedy. She’s a fine actress and this is something different for her. I’m really interested to see how the movie will turn out.

  • Chicky

    Mr.Steve always get the hot chick. First it was Anne now it kier a. Odd couple.

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