‘Shrinking Man’ Remake in the Works from Richard Matheson and Son

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:23 am,

shrinking man remake Shrinking Man Remake in the Works from Richard Matheson and Son

Universal held the rights to Richard Matheson’s celebrated 1956 sci-fi novel The Shrinking Man for a couple decades, but was never able to get a remake or new adaptation off the ground (probably for the best, seeing how one planned version was a family-friendly comedy starring Eddie Murphy).

MGM secured the rights last summer and is pressing forward with a contemporized movie version of the story, with Matheson (who is still an active novelist, despite turning 87 next week) and his writer son Richard Matheson Jr. collaborating on the screenplay.

The formerly-bankrupt studio’s been recharged thanks to the combined $2 billion worldwide intake from Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Hence, it’s now moving with ambitious remakes of cherished book-to-film adaptations from the 1950s – which includes Shrinking Man and Ben-Hur - as well as teaming with Paramount to release the big-budget Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson next year.

Shrinking Man will benefit from a modern budget and improvement in effects over the six decades that’ve passed since Matheson’s source material was adapted as The Incredible Shrinking Man; not to mention, offer a greater sense of realism than the countless variations on the miniaturizing humans setup (ex. Fantastic Voyage, Innerspace, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids). For better or worse, this remake seems an obvious candidate for shooting in 3D, using the increased sense of depth and scale to benefit the sequences where the titular protagonist is pint-sized (think of the 3D effect in animated movies with small characters, like Toy Story 3 or the upcoming Epic).

Richard Matheson is updating ‘The Shrinking Man’

Here’s what THR is reporting, with respect to how the Mathesons are updating Shrinking Man:

The book, written when atomic-bomb fear ran high, centers on a man who is exposed to radiation and insecticide and begins to shrink. The Mathesons will modernize the story to reflect advancements such as nanotechnology.

Describing the new iteration as “an existential action movie,” the elder Matheson says, “My original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing. That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing.”

Matheson Sr. is well-acquainted with Hollywood adapting his literature, resulting in films that vary in quality (and box office success) like Stir of Echoes, What Dreams May Come, Real Steel and multiple I Am Legend-inspired adaptations – among many other films and television series, that is.

He has solid screenwriting experience to recommend him for updating his Shrinking Man story to the big screen, including his work on the original Twilight Zone TV series, Night Stalker – which Edgar Wright is remaking with Johnny Depp – and even an episode on the original Star Trek television show. (He also had a hand in writing Jaws 3-D, but nobody’s perfect.) We’ll have to wait and see if Matheson still has the magic touch that made him a sci-fi/fantasy icon in the first place.

More on The Shrinking Man as the story develops.

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Source: THR

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15 Comments

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  1. Isn’t this just Ant Man?
    LOL!!

  2. Don’t forget the Lily Tomlin version, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” from 1981

    • Hold on here, that will go later first let’s discuss Shrinking Man first before anything.

  3. I never realized how many of Matheson’s stories have been made into movies. He’s gotta be right up there with Stephen King.

    • Only a better writer.

      • Not necessarily a better writer. Richard Matheson has written some bombs, especially in his later years. His earliest work is the best.
        Same goes for most writers in this genre. Ray Bradbury is another example, as is Dean Koontz. Not every book is a classic.

  4. I didn’t realize Real Steel was adapted from a book. I really like that movie!

    • Matheson’s original concept for REAL STEEL (under a different title) not only was more “human” but owned more depth with a beautiful twist on the ending. His Twilight Zone version added pathos for the protagonist “robot”–actually a human being (Lee Marvin) pretending to be a machine in battling a real robot in the boxing ring…when in the future man literally versus machine. This was the point lost in that recent film adaptation.

      Matheson (and son) appears to be trying to hold onto the fundamental theme for “Shrinking Man” (as described)–unless or until MGM brings in others to do a rewrite.

  5. I will like to see “The Shrinking Man” a Man who got smaller and smaller and trying to escape the world became really big.

    I think Sam Worthington, Chris Evans, Paul Walker, Ashton Kutcher, or Ryan Reynolds will make a brilliant casting playing Scott Carey in a Richard Matheson Sci-Fi story ? That’s who I casted ?

  6. Dan Curtis’ Night Stalker with Darren McGaven was great. Johnny Depp will ruin any remake.

    • Johnny Depp is a fine actor but Hollywood studios simply don’t have (or not willing to take a chance on) original thought. Depp (aside from “Pirates”) has done a remake of WILLIE WONKA, DARK SHADOWS, LONE RANGER…now NIGHT STALKER.

      Actors have few choices unless they go indie.

      SHRINKING MAN is a necessary remake given its low-budget, B-movie result back in the 1950s. This could be said of any film with a great idea but not a great deal of money.

      I play around with this concept in imagining a remake of an old TV series as a feature film. Guess which one. You don’t have to guess. Go to dreamerchant.com/blog

  7. Sam Worthington can’t really act I fear,otherwise some nice choices there !

    The old version is a classic and i remember watching it as a kid. It left a deep impression in me ever since,still have the music clear in my head from the beginning when this cloud approaches and the shrinking man in the credits ! Amazing Movie !

    Will be hard for any new version to get close to it ! It’s easy to destroy what made the old one a classic ! And action Movie sounds like its going already the wrong route ! Should be a story about one man,and how this situation effects him and and his thoughts ! Like the old one was,and no Happy end please !

  8. I haven’t seen the original movie, but I’ve read the book and really liked it. I find that it’s a dark story, but really great.

    Another screenplay he’s done for one of his book adaptations was “The Legend of Hell House”.

  9. There are 2 sci-fi classics involving “miniaturization” that could, given the strides in vfx technology, make for interesting re-vamps: “Fantastic Voyage” is one; “Shrinking Man” is the other. Matheson’s exciting, philosophical novel is a literary gem. The 1957 film starring Grant Williams remains a classic adventure; its enormous-feeling scale belies its nodest budget. Typically, I am adverse to remakes…but this one has me VERY intrigued.

  10. Ah, but Gort…the most interesting visual from FV involved no special effects at all; Raquel Welch sure filled out that white scuba suit, huh?

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