What Is J.J. Abrams' '500 Rads?'

Remember when word of a mysterious project called Cloverfield first surfaced? Before we knew it, we were getting a movie about a mostly unseen giant monster causing chaos in New York. Well, it seems that J.J. Abrams might be bringing us something in the same top-secret vein with a project that is being referred to as 500 Rads.

The guys over at Pajiba (thanks to /Film for pointing us to this) have an inside source (who they're keeping nameless, for good reason) that has given some details on 500 Rads, a project that Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, are apparently developing in secret.

So what's it all about? Well, the little info we've got beyond the title tells us that it's in the same vein as Cloverfield and 28 Days Later. Pajiba helpfully points out that a "rad" is an "absorbed radiation dose." The guys over at /Film did a bit of research, and turned up the info that 500 doses of rad would turn a man sterile, with a woman needing 600. Other info states 500 would be enough to kill you...

Hmmm... If the title 500 Rads turns out to be the actual title of the project (and not just a working one to preserve secrecy), plus the mention of 28 Days Later, it could mean we're looking at a J.J. Abrams zombie film. The guy us extremely talented and hard-working, and a film about the walking undead from he who brought us the likes of Alias, Lost and Cloverfield sounds nothing less than great to me.

Or perhaps it will be a movie about a mass fertility crisis/outbreak, if we're to go by the info /Film has found out. Could we be looking at a mixture of Children of Men and Dawn of the Dead? Will it be about an outbreak that at first turns everyone infertile and then into flesh-eating zombies? It's all speculation at this point.

500 Rads: Does it involve some horrific radioactive mishap?

Apparently the film is based on an extensive outline by Abrams himself, and a script has been worked on for a few months now by Jeff Pinkner. However, since Pinkner is busy with Fringe, he hasn't been able to finish the Rads script, and so Abrams and Co. are supposedly looking at other writers in their "family" to pick up the reigns (no telling whether that means building on Pinkner's script or doing a complete rewrite). The film is supposed to shoot in Europe (to help maintain secrecy, I'm guessing) and is being budgeted at a surprisingly low $25 million.

This project gives off a strong Inception smell - we have a few more details about what Christopher Nolan's latest film is about, but less than a year ago it was completely shrouded in secrecy. Could we see the same thing happen with 500 Rads? We all know Abrams is a fan of keeping things secret until he unleashes the marketing (viral or otherwise) on people - and I (like many) enjoy a good movie mystery :) .

We'll definitely keep you posted on just what Abrams' 500 Rads turns out to be. For now: What do you think it could be? Do you think we're dealing with a zombie film from the Star Trek director? Or something else entirely? Leave your thoughts and speculation below, we'd love to hear your ideas!

Sources: Pajiba and /Film

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