Universal is trying to pump some new life into their attempt to bring D. F. Jones’s seminal science-fiction novel Colossus back to the big screen.
Currently the studio has Will Smith attached to the project. And while Solomon has worked with Smith before on Men In Black, looking over the writer’s resume I see nothing but comedy on his resume, including Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and 2000’s Charlie’s Angels. This concerns me as Jones’s original novel and its 1970 film adaptation were very much serious thrillers, without a trace of levity, which puts it far outside of Solomon’s normal wheelhouse.
A Cold War riff on the Frankenstein story, Jones’s novel featured a supercomputer that is designed by Smith’s character 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 1970 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.
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.
Previously, the studio had Law & Order: LA writer Blake Masters working on the screenplay for the project following up on the work of 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). The Hollywood Reporter is saying that some material for the film will still be drawn from these two books.
Oof. Not a good choice.
I bet you said the same thing about Akiva Goldsman on A Beautiful Mind.
I did actually. I think the third act of that script is a mess.