In what is shaping up to be one divine sledgehammer of a cannibal flick, Charlize Theron has signed up to star in The Road, based on the Pulitzer-winning apocalyptic novel by No Country For Old Men‘s Cormac McCarthy. Theron will star as the wife of lead actor Viggo Mortensen, a smallish yet vital role that will require her to appear mostly in flashback. Apparently she’s a huge fan of the book, as is Oprah, as is everyone who keeps telling me to drop the tomb that is Midnight’s Children and be mesmerized; okay, two people, but we’re talking books, not Rock Band.

Mortensen will play a father guiding his young son across a scorched Earth populated by roaming packs of cannibals, the remnants of a wiped out human civilization. The film’s director is John Hilcoat, who made the blistering, uncompromising Australian western The Proposition. That flick was a barrage of fleshy wounds, pinging bullets, sallow living, and lifeless terrain, so be sure to check it out if your curious what’s in store here. While it might not be an apt comparison, I can’t help but think The Road will improve on themes like quiet desperation and strengthen the brutal reality that we saw in the promising first half and so-so second half of I Am Legend.