A live-action adaptation of MTV's cult animated series from the '90s, Aeon Flux is ''a multilayered [action-drama] set in a futuristic world in which there is a political breakdown,'' says Karyn Kusama, who's following her 2000 indie breakout Girlfight with this $55 million studio movie. ''It's a classic sci-fi setup a world has been inundated by a viral apocalypse,'' she adds, ''and the last surviving people have all congregated in a walled-off city, Bregna.''Among those survivors is Charlize Theron's catsuit-clad gun-for-hire title character, who, along with the Handler (Frances McDormand), heads a revolution against the bad-guy government.
Flux is ruthless and unsentimental...until she's asked to off Trevor Goodchild (Kingdom of Heaven's Marton Csokas), who might not be the evil scientist she's been led to believe. In fact, he just might be her soul mate. ''When I read this,'' says Oscar winner Theron, who admits she's not usually drawn to sci-fi, ''there was something old-fashioned about the love story. And I like the discovery process [my character] goes through: She's a woman on the run, trying to survive so she can find out who she is.'' The stunt work was a fun bonus too even after she injured her neck doing a flip in the first weeks of shooting last year. ''I grew up doing ballet and was always athletic in school,'' she says. ''Every day, I just wanted to hang from the wire. I love all that stuff!''