Warner Bros. has been trying to mount a remake of the 1976 dystopian sci-fi film Logan’s Run for a long, long time. As writers (Alex Garland, Will Beall), and directors (Bryan Singer, Carl Erik Rinsch) were announced and then quietly moved on, the project seemed to have a real chance when Nicholas Winding Refn and his Only God Forgives star Ryan Gosling signed on to direct and star, respectively.
Then Gosling dropped out, presumably followed by Refn (who later confirmed that the project is on hold). The remake seemed to be indefinitely stalled.
Logan’s Run marks Levine’s first move outside the game industry in a long time. After attempting a screenwriting career, he worked as a game designer for Looking Glass Studios. He and two co-workers left Looking Glass to establish Irrational Games in 1997, releasing System Shock 2 in 1999 as its first title.
2007’s BioShock arrived to massive success and near-universal acclaim, cementing Levine’s status as a one of the game industry’s most prominent creative directors. This year’s sequel, BioShock: Infinite, has also received near-universal critical praise.
Like the original film, the 1967 novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson takes place in a future society in which all citizens are required to die at a certain age – 21 in the book, 30 in the movie. When one of the enforcers of this rule, Logan-5 (Michael York), finds himself scheduled for termination, he attempts to escape the self-contained domed city where everyone lives. The film took only the basic premise from the book, changing many details and plot points.
While the original Logan’s Run hasn’t aged well (the pastel 70’s depiction of what was then considered futuristic), there are clear parallels to its universe and that of BioShock’s – the core concepts both explore a society in which a strict ideology appears to have run amok.
It remains to be seen whether or not Refn is still aboard. He’s a director who likes to flirt with multiple projects, and while he is still slated to remake Barbarella for television, he’s also involved with an adaptation of the comic book series The Incal. It’s widely expected that Refn will follow Gosling and bow out, but there has been no official confirmation, yet.
Logan’s Run is reported to be close to Levine’s heart, and his standing in the video game community gives this once-ailing project some real momentum. Expect more details to emerge soon.