'Men in Black' Screenwriter Rescues Will Smith Vehicle 'Colossus'

After struggling in developmental purgatory since 2007, Colossus - the remake of the 1970s science fiction thriller Colossus: The Forbin Project starring Will Smith - has been given a much-needed boost.

Ed Solomon, screenwriter for Men in Black and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey, has been brought onboard to rewrite the film's script and breathe new life into the project.

Solomon is stepping in after a six-year period of inactivity on the film, which is being produced by Imagine Entertainment and distributed by Universal - the very same studio that was behind the first movie over forty years ago. Colossus will mark Solomon's second collaboration with Smith, who obviously starred in Men in Black in 1997. Bryan Grazer and Ron Howard are producing for Imagine, as well as Erica Huggins and David J. Collins; meanwhile, Universal has Anikah McLaren and Sara Scott supervising.

Initial script treatments were written by Blake Masters (of Law and Order: LA fame) and Jason Rothenberg, and details of the plot have been kept under lock and key despite its remake status. The narrative is no secret to anyone with Internet access and a Netflix subscription, though.

Joseph Sargent's original picture tells the story of Dr. Charles Forbin, a chief engineer who designs a super computer - the Colossus of the film's title - as a means of controlling both US and Allied nuclear weapons systems. Forbin thinks he's devised a perfect defense system, but as is expected of any good sci-fi yarn, his great idea leads to catastrophe as Colossus attains sentience and very rapidly begins seizing control of the entire planet.

'Colossus: The Forbin Project' (1970)

Hardly a masterpiece, but hardly a joke, either, Colossus: The Forbin Project exists as a more straight-faced variation on Dr. Strangelove. It's a Cold War movie, through and through, and a good one at that regardless of the fact that it's a minor entry in sci-fi cinema canon.

The notion of seeing Colossus remade is an intriguing one - the through-line of cultural paranoia at the film's center isn't quite so prevalent in modern society, even though we live in a time where the limitations of government are a part of our nation's political dialogue. Much more relevant, however, is the concept of technology gone too far; most of us spend an inordinate amount of time glued to smart phones or tablets, so maybe a film in which an artificial intelligence begins dictating the protagonist's schedule and deciding on his meals for him will end up resonating.

That is, if Solomon decides to go in that direction. Nothing of either Masters' or Rothenberg's preliminary efforts is known as of yet, and Solomon hasn't begun his work yet, so it's up in the air where he'll end up taking Colossus.

Currently, Smith - whose next film, After Earth, hits theaters June 7th, 2013 (you can see the latest trailer here) - is the only known quantity. Are you interested in seeing him work with a Solomon-penned script again?

Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more news on Colossus as this story develops.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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