The biggest blockbuster of the summer is poised to be Jurassic World, the long-awaited fourth film in a franchise dating back to 1993. Original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg acted as executive producer on the latest sequel, but he’s not just resting on his laurels – he’s been working on something big. Or rather, very small.
Jurassic Park was author Michael Crichton’s best-known novel, and the huge success of the film adaptation couldn’t have hurt its popularity. But before his death in 2008, the writer had penned some two-dozen other science fiction bestsellers, without any dinosaurs in. Considering it went so well for him the first time, Spielberg is looking at adapting another of Crichton’s non-dino books.
The Wrap has revealed that Spielberg has acquired the film rights to Crichton’s Micro, via an announcement by DreamWorks CEO Michael Wright. The second posthumous book completed and published after the author’s death, “Micro” follows a group of graduate students lured to a lucrative job at a bio-tech company in Hawaii – only to find themselves shrunk down to a microscopic level and forced to survive the dangers of the rainforest.
“We are so pleased to have this opportunity to develop Micro,” Spielberg said. “For Michael, size did matter whether it was for Jurassic’s huge dinosaurs or Micro’s infinitely tiny humans.” Spielberg is developing the film at DreamWorks, presumably with an eye to direct (although there’s no official word that he will), while Frank Marshall will produce and Sherri Crichton and Laurent Bouzereau of CrichtonSun will executive produce.
Critchton was working on two books at the time of his death. The first, “Pirate Latitudes,” has already been optioned by DreamWorks as well, with Spielberg reportedly eager to make a pirate film. In 2009, the director hired Jurassic Park and The Lost World screenwriter David Koepp to adapt the story. “Micro,” meanwhile, was discovered unfinished by one of Crichton’s assistants, and completed by science writer Richard Preston before being published in 2011.
“Micro” is a story that touches on many of the same themes as the Jurassic Park series, of man meddling with nature and carefully organised scientific systems collapsing in the face of our chaotic world. It also sounds a bit like Honey I Shrunk The Kids, only for an older audience. Spielberg’s involvement is reassuring, since other Crichton adaptations – like Richard Donner’s infamous box office bomb Timeline and the cheesy Congo, which Frank Marshall directed – have not lived up to the Jurassic standard.
Nonetheless, the Micro news comes at a time when the Crichton stock is rising. Jurassic World has done well critically and commercially, and the author’s first feature as director Westworld is being remade as a TV miniseries for HBO. For Spielberg, the film will be his first major live-action blockbuster since 2008’s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. His Cold War thriller Bridge Of Spies, with a script by the Coen Brothers, will be released on October 16, 2015.
Micro is currently in development at DreamWorks.
Source: The Wrap