Out of all the numerous science-fiction novels that I read as a teenager, one of the few that made a lasting impression on me was D. F. Jones’s Colossus. A Cold War riff on the Frankenstein story, it featured a supercomputer that is designed to control the country’s entire nuclear arsenal gaining sentience and slowly taking control of the country. Things get even worse when the computer detects the existence of its opposite number in the Soviet Union. The book was turned into a film in 1968 and director Joseph Sargent managed to capture an air of paranoia in the proceedings that made for a nice thriller. It also served as a forerunner to such films as War Games, Eagle Eye and a host of others.
Universal is hoping to bring a new version of the book to theaters and has just hired Law & Order: LA writer Blake Masters to work on the screenplay for the project. The studio has been trying to adapt the book for some time, though the lack of news on the project for some time had lead me to believe that it was very probably dead.
The previous writer on the project was Jason Rothenberg. Reportedly, Rothenberg’s draft used elements of the two sequels that Jones wrote – The Fall of Colossus (1974) and Colossus and the Crab (1977) – thought it remains to be seen if that approach will be continued or if Masters will draw strictly from the original novel.
It’s not known if this new version will retain the original novel’s time period or if it will be set in the modern day. With the all-pervasiveness of the internet these days, a modern setting could be quite effective for the story.